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Striking Fast Food Workers Hope To Be Treated As Well As Lab Animals Someday
OK, so here's a video that you really DO want to see -- and we PROMISE there's no Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or even My Little Ponies hidden in there -- just a short clip from a TED talk by researcher Frans de Waal. And it's not even one of those awful earnest social-media-will-save-the dolphins TED talks. We provide this clip by way of saying that if capuchin monkeys reject wage inequality, there's also probably a case to be made for our fellow primates as well, don't you think? Which brings us to the actual news story that we aren't at all just using as an excuse to show you the video:
Employees of McDonald's Corp, Wendy's Restaurants LLC, Burger King Worldwide Inc and others have pledged to walk off their jobs in 50 cities from Boston, Mass, to Alameda, Calif., organizers say ...
The workers want to form unions and bargain higher wages with their employers without facing retaliation from franchisees or their parent companies. They are demanding $15 an hour, up from $7.25, which is the current federal minimum wage.
Now, we want to make absolutely clear that we are not comparing fast food workers to lab monkeys. We've done fast food and restaurant work, and we know full well that restaurant employees are sapient human beings with inalienable rights in a complex late-capitalist technological society, which means they can be convinced and bullied to put up with all sorts of shit that no self-respecting capuchin monkey would tolerate. (On the upside, fast food workers are far less likely to be dissected at the end of the work week.)
Fast food jobs currently have a median wage of $8.94, and most are employed less than full-time. St. Louis community organizer Martin Rafanan notes that the local minimum wage is not enough to live on:
"If you're paying $7.35 an hour and employing someone for 20, 25 hours a week, which is the average here, they're bringing home about $10,000 a year. You can't survive on that." Rafanan said.
By contrast, in Australia, the minimum wage is $14.50, but McDonalds still manages to make healthy profits while charging only a small amount more for their anus burgers than in the U.S. Then again, Australia is a socialist hellhole where people can't even take their assault rifles to Starbucks.
If you see picketing fast food workers today, give 'em a wave or a high-five -- and if you get a good photo, send it along to doktorzoom at wonkette dot com, so we can mock the efforts of people trying to work for positive change in the world.