Think Fast Food Workers Can’t Be Paid Better?

September 17, 2013

fastfood workerWho says it’s impossible to pay fast food workers a decent wage? Come October 1, Dearborn Heights’ Moo Cluck Moo, a burger joint, will boost pay by 25 percent, to $15 an hour.

When was the last time you got a 25 percent raise?

That’s $31,200 a year if the culinarians work full-time. Besides being the decent thing to do, says co-owner Brian Parker, management will save on retraining costs, as turnover goes way down. He harks back to Henry Ford’s $5 a day wage, considered outlandish at the time for factory rats: pay the workers enough to buy what they build.

And maybe some folks will be tempted to eat at Moo Cluck Moo just to support the move (it wouldn’t be charity, the food is excellent, from the buttermilk-dipped fried chicken to the portobellos to the fries with sea salt).

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the “D-15” movement that had fast food workers striking August 26, not just in Detroit but all across the country. Fifteen an hour is the national demand, which Parker and co-owner Harry Moorhouse have just proved is not cloud-cuckoo-land.

Almost no fast fooders will be able to count on a benevolent management to raise their pay, of course. It’ll take a heap more agitation before they’re able to buck the $7.40 that’s normal here.

At least fast food workers get a regular hourly pay, since they’re not tipped. The Michigan minimum for a tipped worker is $2.65 an hour, with you, dear reader, tasked with making up the difference. 

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  • bdcanuck

    You’re just sticking up for tipped workers because journalists all have to bartend at night to make ends meet! Wait… I’m talking about me. Sorry.

  • BabZilla

    I would love to see what this would do to the rest of the low-paying jobs I have discovered in my forced “early retirement” from my Master’s Degree-required professional work. I am currently working a part-time minimum-wage-plus-85 cents inventory job that has me working all hours, traveling great distances on my own gas-dime, being hectored by ex-military supervisors–all to supplement my didn’t-want-to-start-so early Social Security. I used to think the wage minimum should be $10.00 but I am so with the $15.00!!! And I was used to making $21.95/hour. Sighhhhhh. Employers simply get away with murder–and they know it!

  • Deanna Hulsey-Leachman

    now thats a man with the spirit for the underdog

  • Antonio Anderson

    It was pointed out to me, with reference, that if tipped workers do not earn an equivalent of minimum wage after tips, then the employer is required to make up the difference. Tip what is fair and proper for you, but the idea that it’s up to the customer to make up the difference is just letting the employer off the hook for employer responsibility.

  • Sandi

    I say BRAVO!!!! That’s a company that’s not only worth working for but worth eating at!

  • John Foster Way

    Thank you Brian Parker and Harry Moorhouse for understanding and for doing what’s right.
    Profit-sharing, what a novel idea. Thank you for giving up your 50 houses around the world, your 100 cars with nothing to do but sit.
    Thank you for only taking a fair share, paying a fair wage, and treating those who work for you like human beings who wish to do their 40 hours and have enough to comfortably raise a family and someday achieve the American Dream or save and invest in America some other way.
    Thank You for investing in the dream!!
    Peace, John

  • mike

    The UMW backed the Fast Food workers and still do, until they all get a living wage.