McDonalds’ CEO Don Thompson believes that his company has “always been an above-minimum wage employer,” he told Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, despite evidence to the contrary.
The fast food chain has come under fire recently after it released a “sample budget” for its employees that offers a cruel glimpse into the life of the average McDonalds employee: No money for heat, only $20 a month for health care, and rent that would only get someone a closet if they live in a big city. Plus the budget calls for a second job to make ends meet.
When Bloomberg TV pointed to the outcry over the budget to highlight what some see as a need to raise the minimum wage, Thompson responded, “I think we have legislators and many people that will determine whether or not minimum wage should be raised. And every time, if minimum wage is raised we have always been an above-minimum wage employer, and we’ve always provided opportunity.”
Actually, fast food companies like McDonalds pay their employees, on average, $18,564 annually — at 40 hours a week for every week of the year, that’s $8.93 an hour. For that to be the average, there must be many McDonalds employees just scraping by on the bare minimum it can pay. Indeed, a Glassdoor sampling of McDonalds employees confirms that, with cashiers and “team members” reporting an average around $7.75. At just 50 cents above the minimum, it seems unlikely that the company is an across-the-board “above minimum wage” employer as Thompson claims.
Fast food workers at McDonalds along with several other low-paying chains have staged walkouts and strikes in recent weeks to call on their employers to pay a living wage. They attest to making minimum wage — not above it.
Next week, workers in seven cities — including Kansas City and Flint — will join in on the protests.