McDonald’s reverses positions, won’t actively oppose minimum wage hikes
Every campaign (local, state or federal) to raise the minimum wage of hourly workers at the bottom of the pay scale in the U.S. has historically been met by protests from the business community over the potential side effects such actions might bring such as layoffs, higher prices to consumers and the demise of small businesses.
In today’s tight labor market, however, some of the very same companies and groups that have staunchly opposed raising minimums are now more willing to discuss the matter. McDonald’s, which has been a target of worker groups promoting a $15 an hour minimum, recently said it would stop engaging in a National Restaurant Association campaign to kill such efforts. It did argue, however, that a phased-in approach to raising the minimum wage would benefit both workers and employers, according to Politico.
The fast-food giant maintains that the minimum hourly wage it pays workers at company-owned and operated restaurants is currently above $10 an hour. Management says it believes that franchisees are largely offering similar wages.
Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has consistently argued for the market to set wage scales, has expressed a willingness to negotiate over the issue if safeguards are put in place to protect small businesses. The Chamber identifies small businesses as having annual revenues of $25 million and fewer than 500 employees. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s criteria is companies with up to 1,500 employees and up to $35.5 million in annual sales.
Costco’s recent announcement that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 for hourly workers followed a similar move by Amazon.com. Other retailers attempting to stand out in a tight labor market have also increased wages. Walmart raised its minimum to $11 an hour. Target, currently at $12, plans to move its hourly employees up to $15 next year.
- Exclusive: McDonald’s halts lobbying against minimum wage hikes – Politico
- McDonald’s will no longer lobby against minimum wage hikes – CNN
- Will Costco’s new $15 minimum wage hurt or benefit the chain? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does McDonald’s gain anything from its announcement that it will no longer oppose efforts to raise minimum wages on the local, state or federal level? Do you expect other large businesses to follow suit?