ONTD Political

McDonalds Tells Workers To Budget By Getting A Second Job And Turning Off Their Heat

1:03 pm - 07/15/2013

McDonalds has partnered with Visa to launch a website to help its low-wage workers making an average $8.25 an hour to budget. But while the site is clearly meant to illustrate that McDonalds workers should be able to live on their meager wages, it actually underscores exactly how hard it is for a low-paid fast food worker to get by.

The site includes a sample”‘budget journal” for McDonalds’ employees that offers a laughably inaccurate view of what it’s like to budget on a minimum wage job. Not only does the budget leave a spot open for “second job,” it also gives wholly unreasonable estimates for employees’ costs: $20 a month for health care, $0 for heating, and $600 a month for rent. It does not include any budgeted money for food or clothing.

Basically every facet of this budget is unachievable. For an uninsured person to independently buy health care, he or she must shell out on average $215 a month — just for an individual plan. If that person wants to eat, “moderate” spending will run them $32 a week for themselves, and $867 a month to feed a family of four. And if a fast food worker is living in a city? Well, New York City rents just reached an average of $3,000 a month.

The sample budget is also available in Spanish. On another section of the site, it concludes, “You can have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it.”

Neither McDonalds nor Visa returned requests for comment by the time of publication.
Last year, Bloomberg News found that it would take the average McDonalds employee one million hours of work to earn as much money as the company’s CEO. This immense wage disparity in the fast food industry has sparked a series of protests and walk-outs by low-wage workers working at fast food chains around the country — in New York, Chicago, Washington, and Seattle, to name a few cities, workers from chains including KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco Bell have spoken publicly about the need for serious wage increases across the industry.

(H/T Low Pay Is Not Okay)

deviantfantasy 15th-Jul-2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
I'm confused about the "spending money" line. To me, spending money is the extra money I have left over that I spend on going out or buying stupid shit. If that's what it is to them, then wow. I wish I had that much a month to spend on crap.

Anyway, I worked fast food for a few years when I was in college, and the work is shitty, and there's never enough money. There was one guy I worked with who was supporting himself and two kids, and he would actually lie and take stale hamburgers home instead of throwing them away.

Edited at 2013-07-15 07:47 pm (UTC)
saygoodnight__ 15th-Jul-2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
That always really bothered me. I don't understand why fast food restaurants insist on throwing food away when it's still perfectly good. The fact that they even have these procedures in place tells me that they know they aren't paying enough for employees to feed themselves and their families, which is even worse.
gambitia 15th-Jul-2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
Businesses seem to cite liability laws when they defend food waste, but my understanding (from an NPR piece aired several years ago) is that businesses that donate food that hasn't been served are protected under Good Samaritan. Especially in big cities, there's a lot of groups that go to restaurants and chains and recover the edible un-served food.

I was actually surprised when I volunteered at a local food pantry that also did food recovery--they had to turn food away from restaurants or restaurant providers because they got far more food than they could process. One of their providers made tortillas for Taco Bell and the like, and sent in 20-60 pounds of tortillas per day. These were tortillas deemed unsuitable for restaurants, meaning they were misshapen or uneven or had torn, but were still completely edible. The pantry had to start limiting that company because they just couldn't repackage and sort that much food a day.
ohmiya_sg 15th-Jul-2013 08:11 pm (UTC)
That's my understanding, too.
saygoodnight__ 15th-Jul-2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
That makes sense. I always thought it was because big corporations didn't want employees "stealing" food.
deviantfantasy 15th-Jul-2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
Kind of OT, but I volunteered at a food bank a few years back, and I couldn't believe all the expired food people donated. Some of the canned stuff was two years pass their expiration date. I'm not sure if they just didn't check, or were doing it on purpose.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
sio 15th-Jul-2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
because people could claim they got sick off it and successfully sue the corporation nice enough to donate those meals. pretty sad.
deviantfantasy 15th-Jul-2013 10:18 pm (UTC)
When I worked in fast food and at a store that made donuts and pizza, we were told food had to be thrown out because there was the potential it might make someone ill. We also had to keep the dumpster area locked so people wouldn't dig through them, and take food we'd thrown out. Once again, it was because they didn't want to get sued if someone were to get ill.
ahria 15th-Jul-2013 10:33 pm (UTC)
When I worked at Burger King, they said we couldn't take home the extra food at the end of the night because letting us would encourage employees to purposely cook extra food for that purpose- they couldn't let us steal!
maenads_dance 16th-Jul-2013 12:37 am (UTC)
When I worked at Mickey D's on the closing shift, we all always took food home. I fed my dog on stale chicken nuggets for a while (not recommended!).
blunder_buss 16th-Jul-2013 05:11 am (UTC)
Sometimes it's a food safety thing. You can have a burger sitting out for a few hours, but after a while it needs to be refridgerated or thrown away. I work at a bakery and that's why we have to throw out the savory and sweet things at the end of the day; they're fine on the shelf for a day, but any longer than that and it's not wise to leave them out.
crepe_ophile 16th-Jul-2013 10:23 am (UTC)
We have so much food in this country (and the world), but because we don't pay people a living wage they can't get to it.
cindyanne1 15th-Jul-2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
I think they're including your food and clothing costs in that "spending money" figure.
blondebeaker 15th-Jul-2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
The Tim Horton's I worked for I was the only single person there (this store was on a military base, so it was either spouses or kids living at home still) and at the end of the week the manager would hand me a cooler bag full of frozen leftover soups and chili, bagels and breads. I found out later one of the supervisors I worked with asked him if they could do that because they were concerned that I didn't have enough food at home and it cut back on what was thrown out (the wrote it off as tossed)

At the time it did help a ton.
otana 15th-Jul-2013 11:59 pm (UTC)
That is awesome.
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