Want fries with that? Too bad — Largest fast-food strike ever planned for Thursday

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 5, 2014 4:28 p.m.

    No doubt about it.

    People are paid what they are worth to the employer.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 10:47 p.m.

    A High School graduate can work at McDonalds for minimum wage.
    A High School graduate can work at a call-center for $10-12 plus the ability to raise a few dollars over a few years if it's a reputable company.

    I did.

    A High School graduate can find work for $15-17, if they are willing to earn it with hard work.

    I did.

    If you're a single mother, I support you getting a raise for that alone. Anyone else, and it's less likely that you have a legit reason. Possible, but less likely.

    And technically single mom can still work at the call center or somewhere else.

    So what's the problem?

    The "false ideas of entitled & equality" generation (aka liberal young people who still haven't grown up).

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 9:06 p.m.


    See, that's just the mentality of Greed. Nothing is ever enough; one cannot be happy with his own success unless he knows he dominates his neighbors and competitors and ultimately the market.

    In-N-Out is specifically just as big as it wants to be. It is CONTENT with its level of profit and with its company size. That is how it pays its people more while charging its customers less and using more expensive, tastier ingredients and employing many people.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 8:46 p.m.


    Obviously you know little about professional sports. The players are employees in every sense of the word. They can be paid well or say in the NFL, be cut the next week as few NFL contracts are guaranteed. They can be traded at anytime regardless. In fact, Babe Ruth was "sold" to the Yankees by the Red Sox owner because he was nearly bankrupt because some broadway play he produced flopped. Yes, these players are well paid, but they are still employees and they had to actually fight for their rights for free agency.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 4, 2014 7:48 p.m.

    Sorry, I have never heard of In-N-Out burgers! What you say may be true but I doubt they can compete with Mickey D's or BK for long unless there is no competition for miles-very isolated market. If they can compete, as you say, why are they not expanding, taking market away from their competitors, building new stores everywhere? Obviously they aren't. Let a McDonalds or BK move in across the street and see what happens to them! They can't survive selling products for more than their competition. No one ever has for very long! Just ask American Motors or Enron.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 7:09 p.m.


    "Open a business and don't be 'greedy!' Pay your employees more than anyone else in your business!"

    In-N-Out Burger does just that -- and does so while charging LESS for their products AND while using more expensive, fresh ingredients AND while employing more people.

    This single-handedly exposes the "it will raise prices and cause unemployment" assertions for what they really are: false, fearmongering propaganda, typically used by employers/businessmen/stockholders who simply do not want to pay their hirelings a fair wage.

    By their accounts, In-N-Out Burger's business model is utterly impossible. And yet In-N-Out thrives. How is this possible?

    Answer: the fact that they take their Christianity seriously. Unlike so many businessmen in this country especially in Utah, In-N-Out is not consumed by the singular pursuit of profit to the point of GREED.

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Sept. 4, 2014 5:54 p.m.

    This is so hard to understand, boy in my days of working in a Drug Store (no mcDonalds at that time) I made .25 or .35 cents an hour and was happy to have a job. I often look at families where every little kid has a cell phone in church, and mentally I add up what this must cost. I think people are getting very spoiled today. We walked to school, 3 miles, regardless of weather. I raised 5 children, and they also had to walk to school, although not 3 miles. I had a very good paying job made $200.00 a month, and my children were well dressed, because I made most of their clothes. What is happening to people that they can't take care of their families and learn to live on what they make. I am greatful that I have been taught to live within my means, and have tried to teach my children the same. higher wages mean higher prices for everyone so what is the use of complaining about wages. Be glad that you have a job and can work.

  • Objectified Richfield, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 5:01 p.m.

    @ anti-liar:

    You not living up to your moniker. It now takes a million dollar deposit to open up a new McDonald's. That means it takes a hefty return on investment just to break even. Greed is not part of the equation for most franchise owners.

    Employee wages are the biggest single variable cost to doing fast-food business. So it becomes quite easy to understand that food item prices would have to increase significantly if employee wages were forced to double. It's not rocket science, and it's not propaganda. Claiming otherwise actually is.

    You need to talk to a sizable number of fast-food employees. Most never intend to keep their jobs long-term. Many, if not most, are students just trying to work their way through school. That truly means they are not "lifelong careers". No minimum wage job is ever intended to be.

    With record numbers of people living on welfare, claiming the current generation is the hardest working in history is debatable. The pre and post-WWII workforce could probably lay legitimate claim to that title.

    Like most of your argument, your cited scriptures are also out of context.

  • infoman Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    If you want more money, learn a skill that people are willing to pay more for.

    I don't go to fast food places very often, but when I do, the service I get usually makes me feel like the staff is already overpaid.

  • kattawn ,
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:19 p.m.

    When the prices increase with the wage increase, I'll stop going to fast food places and then they'll lose their jobs, which would be even sadder than making $9 an hour.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    @ anti-liar. Then here is your golden opportunity to practice what you preach! Open a business and don't be "greedy"! Pay your employees more than anyone else in your business! Of course that will mean your prices will be higher than any of your competitors and no one will buy your product (no matter what it is). See you in bankruptcy court! Then what will your former employees do for a paycheck? Well, there is always unemployment checks, paid for by those who are "greedy".

  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    I agree that the minimum wage for full time workers should be raised as I don't believe many greedy business owners would raise wages on their own; but come on $15 per hour for unskilled fast-food workers is just insane. Having encountered many of these workers over the years they prove to me often they would never be worth those wages.

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    All these people are doing is protesting themselves and future potential fast food employees out of a job. The technology is basically there too have most of their jobs automated. So if the minimum wage is raised it soon will become more cost effective for their employers to get automated cashier and even food making machines. Their employers would then probably hire just one employee at the new minimum wage (instead of the usual 3-4+ who are usually on each shift) to manage the equipment and keep an eye on customers. And even that employee would be more likely to be required to have some higher education, given the wage (if they manage to get $15/hour). Even without the implementation of automated cashiers and food making machines, employers would either need to cut cost or raise prices. One easier cost to cut is a few employees. One thing about most fast food employees: they generally are not well educated and thus do not understand basic economics.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    "Prices would have to go up significantly." "...a corresponding increase in unemployment."

    False, fear-mongering propaganda. Raising wages simply would mean employers having to be content with a little less profit accumulation. In-N-Out Burger pays their people MORE, yet their burgers cost LESS than the competition.

    "Fast food jobs were never meant to be lifelong careers."

    Says who? Length of job engagement is irrelevant. What is relevant is an employee consecrating the best waking hours of his lifetime and his labor to someone else's business. He deserves to share in the profit.

    "...learn how to work and be responsible."

    Well, Gee, how convenient. Perhaps the employee should be paying the employer, then.

    "What used to be the most productive and educated workforce in the world..."

    America's workforce today is the most productive and hard-working in history.

    "...inept government administrations."

    It's either the worker's fault or the government's fault, but never the employer's fault. Again, how convenient.

    Deny it all you want, folks. The real problem is employer GREED. No wonder Jesus spoke of camels, of eyes of needles, and of "oppressing the hireling in his wages."

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    @ Schnee. Babe Ruth was the product the team sold! He was not an employee he was the product! He is why people paid to come to the game. They didn't pay to see the owner of the team! They paid to see the Babe hit more home runs. Customers paid his salary, not the owners! Actually,he paid the owner's salary, not the other way around! If not for the Babe, what would the owners have to sell? No matter what business you are in, your customers pay your salary! No customers, no salary! The only exception is the government which has no product but uses the power of the state to force people to pay for that which they will not receive so others can receive what they never worked for. We used to call that slavery but today liberals call it "social justice".

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    I also might suggest that some conservatives go beyond say the Soviet Union in their examples of socialism. I would say many countries are socialistic or have high amounts of socialism in their economy and these countries' (Sweden, Denmark, Norway etc.) citizens seem quite happy with this arrangement. There is nothing sacred about capitalism and I doubt it will be the economic system in the next life. There might be other forms of socialism not as extreme as what was tried in the Soviet Union, it's not the only alternative to capitalism.

    I for one think capitalism is a good system if reasonably checked by the government. I also, as I've said before, believe in responsible capitalism. An example of this in the fast word world is In and Out Burger. They are a highly profitable company that pays higher wages to its workers. Their workers are more motivated so the service is better and the overall product is better. McDonald's, Burger King etc. are being simply called out by their employees. It will be interesting to see what direction these companies go.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    I'm going to throw this out, to me it is actually a free market perspective but will counter a number of conservative positions.

    One, these workers are fully free to strike. This is America. They are fully free to show up for work, not show up to work etc.

    Perhaps as these conservatives say, they can be easily be replaced by robots, immigrants, teachers or others desperate for a minimum wage job.

    Or perhaps these business might learn that their labor is more valuable than the wage given. Perhaps customers will realize their value as well.

    It will be interesting to see what happens. But in the 1880's when unions obtained a foothold, things started to change. But again I don't see what these people are doing as un-American but actually truly American. The market will tell the tale. If they aren't worth more than minimum wage, they will come back to work and accept their lot or be replaced. But if service goes downhill or customers stay away perhaps in support, I guess the value of their labor might improve.

  • The Final Word Alpine, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    So, everyone ready for $12 hamburgers, $6 Fries, and $4 drinks?

    If you can do the math you know it is coming. If you can't you probably work permanently in the fast food industry.

    This is just silly. These businesses were not meant to be living wages on a permanent basis. My kid worked at Artic Circle this summer. He has no job skills, why should they pay him $15/hr? It is and should be motivation for him to get off his butt and make something of himself. I don't want him to be able to get by working there. He needs to realize it does not pay enough money to live on.


  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    Raising the minimum wage wil price people out a job. I agree with most of the comments here.

    Having said that there has been a CEO arms race with CEOs of large corporations getting higher and higher compensation. It doesnt necessarialy mean they are more competent or that they add more value. It has been a trend in the US.

    I would propose that companies cannot deduct more executive compensation that exceeds more than 40x what the median employee makes. Companies will be free to do it, but they will not be able to deduct it as a cost of doing business.

    Mountainman? Worf? What are your thoughts?

  • Jim Cobabe Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    I would be totally mad if Avon sales rang my doorbell in the "wee hours of the night"!

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    @ Schnee:

    I have a cousin who has lived in Canada for not quite two decades. He came back to Utah for a family reunion last year.

    During our conversation, he told me the ongoing furtherance of socialism in Canada is creating a certain level of political controversy and that the socialism there is definitely the most negative part of living in Canada. He said it directly increases the cost of living.

    He also told me that if there was one thing he could change about Canada, that would be it. Other than that, he really loves it there.

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    Raise their wages to $15 per hour. That will give me a bigger excuse not to eat out. Once people stop going fast food because they don't want to pay $20 for a hamburger, what are these workers going to do. The companies will go out of business and they will be unemployed.

  • Objectified Richfield, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    These strikers need to study employment history. Almost without exception, whenever the minimum wage has been increased, especially when by a significant amount, there is always a corresponding increase in unemployment.

    These strikers better be willing to accept the fact that their strike will cause many of them to lose their jobs altogether, rather than receiving their increased hourly rate. They aren't be led by informed and knowledgeable people. This thing is definitely going to backfire on many of them to the benefit of a smaller percentage.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    @ gmlewis:

    You apparently don't understand the economics of the situation. Since employee wages are the highest variable cost in the fast food industry, doubling wages will NOT be covered by adding just a few cents to the price of a hamburger. Far from it. Prices would have to go up significantly.

    There would then be a significant number of customers. Then many fast food places would go out of businesses. Thus, many of those striking today will be without jobs. Sadly, they don't understand basic business principles and just don't get it.

    The worker quoted in the article said she is worth more money. If that was true, then somebody else would be giving her offers of more money to work for them. Again, that's how free-market enterprise works. And that's directly related to the supply and demand curve.

    There are at least 12 million illegals in our country helping to create a larger supply of low-level workers while the demand for those workers stays relatively equal. Hence, there is no need to pay those workers more. There are plenty of others willing to take those jobs at current wages.

  • Happyinlife PROVO, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    BYU sports on TV in Missouri,
    I couldn't have said it better!

  • Incite Full Layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    I have a hard time believing that fast food workers do the kind of work that merits 15 bucks an hour.

    The price of fast food will only go up if this occurs, which could be a good thing... if I end up buying it less frequently. :D

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    Many people who work in factories operating machines or welding are currently receiving $15/hr for their knowledge and skills. If you raise minimum wage to $15 then these people will expect to be paid $22/hr. And everybody above minimum will expect to receive at least a $7/hr raise.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    @Say No to BO
    You "rested your case" because I assume you don't want to argue how Sweden or Canada are distinctly inferior places to live. I think you just want everyone to associate the word socialism with the Soviet Union or China or North Korea (even though we had a different word for those nations... communist).

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:51 p.m.

    @Sasha Pachev
    "The 49% that have a favorable view of socialism have never tried to appreciate what it was like to live in the Soviet Union. "

    Or they know the difference between living in the Soviet Union and living in Canada... that's a pretty wide range of socailisms.

  • BYU sports on TV in Missouri Lebanon, MO
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    It seems that logic is in short supply these days.

    Lets replace the wage discussion with a classroom discussion...
    Because you come to class....Does not mean you have earned an A.
    Because you want an A.... Does not mean you have earned an A.
    Because your mommy wants you to get an A.... Does not mean you have earned an A.
    Because you took a test... Does not mean you have earned an A.
    Because you turned in your homework... Does not mean you have earned an A

    If you want an A you need to do the things that get you an A.

    Same applies to getting paid more.... Because you have bills to pay is not a reason why an employer should pay you more money... If you need to earn more, improve your skills so that you are worth more. There are plenty of jobs that pay better than working for a fast food restaurant. Just because someone wants something does not mean they are entitled to having it.....

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    The 49% that have a favorable view of socialism have never tried to appreciate what it was like to live in the Soviet Union. Not surprising, most Americans of the younger generation have no idea who Brezhnev was, will think you are swearing in some tribal dialect when Khruschev is mentioned, might remember a fact or two about Stalin, and may wonder what John Lennon is doing in the tomb on Red Square when they hear the name Lenin. The first two had the ability to wipe out the United States with a push of a button while the remaining two have laid a physical and ideological foundation for the potential.

    This forgetfulness leads to quite a bit of confusion of values.

    That said, I am in favor of raising minimum wage in the fast food industry to $100/hour. This will put it out of business which will have a side effect of lowering my health insurance premiums.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    Some comments today suggest that there are plenty of alternatives to working for fast food establishments, but this is not true for most of these part-time workers.

    Other comments suggest that these low-skill people have brought their woes upon themselves. That may be true of all of us; everybody has made some poor choices. Others lacked opportunites that we may take for granted.

    I suggest an alternative to strikes and power plays to demand higher pay. Instead, let the consumers decide: are we willing to pay a few cents extra per burger for a company that meets the $15/hour minimum wage?

    Let's start a viral trend, by asking the Fast Food manager to accept an extra $1/meal as a gratuity for their part-time workers. If enough folks did this, the FF chains would see that customers would accept higher prices if they knew the workers were adequately paid.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    Exhibit A. I rest my case.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    @Say no to bo
    "They were never taught history and don't understand the dangers."

    Of what? Being Canada? Norway? Denmark? Sweden? Australia?

    "They have no idea the value a particular person brings to an organization. "

    You used Babe Ruth as an example. Ruth was an employee, not the person writing paychecks. So do only some employees know their value (obviously you don't think these fast food workers do)?

  • optic yellow Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    Lets say they get the raise to $15/hour. Lets suppose that most employees are not replaced with technology/automation.

    Very few people currently working in fast food would continue to be there under these circumstances. At $15/hr employers can go hire school teachers for summers and evenings. You can replace a teenager with a college educated adult? Which employee would you choose?

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    Well, most fast food isn't good for you, anyway. One day off of it for the public seems like a good thing to me. People who are demanding these outrageous pay increases are in serious problem of not having pay at all.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    The VERY BEST thing advocates for higher wages could do is to "hitch their wagon" to comprehensive illegal immigration ENFORCEMENT.

    Illegal alien trespassers are DIRECTLY responsible for low wages. DESPITE what amnesty advocates tell you.

    As long as smarmy employers are allowed, with impunity, to import low-wage workers - wages will REMAIN low.

    Its' not complicated.

  • supernatural Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    If you are working at a fast food place then you can not complain about the pay. If you want more money then go get a different job!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 4, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    Babe Ruth was once asked by a reporter why he deserved to be paid more than the President of the US? The Babe said, "Because I had a better year than he did." How preposterous it is for Obama or any other jealous socialist to pontificate on what a CEO, professional athlete or fast food worker should be paid when they are not the ones who pay them! They have no idea the value a particular person brings to an organization. That's something for the owners of the company to decide, the only people who have their "skin in the game". If Karl Marx had been right, every third world nation full of workers would be prosperous, but they are not because they produce little or nothing that anyone wants to pay for! In other words, liberals, you either produce something consumers are willing to pay for or there are no jobs, no paychecks, no taxpayers and yes, eventually no food stamps, period! It matters not what business you are in, consumers pay your salary and fast food workers may soon learn that consumers are unwilling to pay you for your overpriced products!

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    Sept. 4, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    Hopefully people will realize that they don't need Fast Food unless it is "natures fast food" like apples, bananas, etc.

    The entitlement mentality is going to ruin our country.

    How many of these $15 an hour wannabe's would have defended the Alamo to the death?

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    In late 2011 Pew did a survey about socialism vs capitalism. Forty-nine percent of people in the 18-29 age bracket say they have a positive view of socialism; only 43 percent say they have a negative view.
    Hence, the Occupy Movement and the $15/hour push.
    They were never taught history and don't understand the dangers.
    My guess is that experience will be a demanding tutor.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    Sept. 4, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    A workers wage that garners twice or more than what they are getting paid now will create a fallout that will be worse than anyone might imagine. Both Europe and the Far East have maximized efficiency and profits by eliminating the workforce entirely by automating fast food – with great success. A machine can produce an order perfectly every time. It doesn’t complain about working conditions or get vindictive against “uncooperative” customers. It requires neither health, medical or other retirement benefits and doesn’t care if it has stock options.

    And while automating food service may initially be expensive, the savings realized by laying off thousands of over/underpaid mostly uneducated workers that think they deserve a wage most college graduates don’t earn will WAY more than offset start-up costs.

    Granted, automation lacks the “human touch” but if a business has to choose between profits and people it won’t be hard to figure out which goes first. Also, the attitude of “If I can’t get what I want, then I just won’t show up.” will doubtfully go well with employers. Be careful what you ask for. You might just get it.

  • fish8 Vernal, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    I dropped out of High School. I got facial piercings and or tatoos. I have poor social skills. I don't want to go back to school and get an education. But you should pay me $15/hr because it's not my fault.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    If I were manager of these restraunts my help wanted signs would be going up today with a warning to any protestor- don't show up its not excused and you will be terminated. Before people say how mean I was taught by my small business grandfather that you work an honest days labor for an honest days wage. Everyone remembers the wage part but often forgets the value of the labor portion of that saying. It is menial labor for a reason people you are not meant to make a career out of it. 6 types of people should be working these jobs
    1.People just entering the workforce
    2.People just getting back on their feet from a major life altering situation(i.e. death, divorce etc)
    3.People working their way through school
    4.People needing supplamental income not primary
    5.People who have retired and want to continue to work and have secondary income
    6.People going for upper management who will make a career of it but know they are working up from the bottom.
    When minimum wage increases any gain is eaten up in inflation and devalues the everyone elses market wages

  • Ironmomo Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 5:52 a.m.

    While I do sympathize with fast food worker's plight, their demands of $15.00/hr are not sustainable. Fast food jobs were never meant to be lifelong careers. Exceptions being store managers and franchise owners. FF jobs have always been introductory type jobs into the work force to give young men and women a chance to earn money, learn how to work and be responsible. What used to be the most productive and educated workforce in the world has dwindled and succumbed to overseas competition, corporate greed and nurse maid policies conceived by inept government administrations.