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)

lithiumflower 16th-Jul-2013 03:07 am (UTC)
$90 electric? You could live in the dark, taking cold showers every day, and eating beans out of a can and my hometown would find a way to bill you $100 a month for it. Electric bills there are $200-300 a month. They also charge you for everything. They'll charge you $50 if they have to send you a notice that your lights will be disconnected. A NOTICE. If they actually turn them off, it's another $50. It's so bad they keep uniformed police officers on their premises.

kyra_neko_rei 16th-Jul-2013 03:51 am (UTC)
That reminds me of MY attempt at apartment living.

They told me when I signed the lease that the heating bills average around $30 a month in winter.

I get my November gas bill and it was $120.

Which was bad enough, but the way they built the place! There was no insulation---I shit you not, they REQUIRED you to have the thermostat set to at least 55 so the pipes wouldn't freeze in the exterior walls. And it was heated with forced air, and the heat vents were up at the ceiling. Hot air rises. So I was basically shelling out $120+ a month to add heat to the people above me (I was on the first floor.)

A couple years later I came back because a friend and I were weighing being roommates and she wanted to check them out again. And they showed us one of the apartments where the heat is included in the rent (they had both). Cue us touring a downright cozy boiler-heated apartment with visibly thicker walls (you could tell by the windowsills). Oh fuck do they do it right when the heat is their responsibility.
livinghope 16th-Jul-2013 05:36 am (UTC)
I have never understood that bullshit. If someone can't afford to keep their lights on in the first place, how in the hell do you expect them to pay an extra $100 in fees? What do these companies get out of practices like that?
peace_piper 16th-Jul-2013 08:00 am (UTC)
It's like the fucking banks around here. "Oh you don't have enough money in your account, we're going to charge you $100 in fees and float you some money so you don't go .01 negative." Like, seriously? Seriously seriously? Then I owe them $150 because I had .07 in my account. I knew how much I had in there. I didn't need to be charged.
peace_piper 16th-Jul-2013 07:57 am (UTC)
OH my god.

I was spending $400/month on electricity in Hilo, HI, and that was with using gas lanterns at night so I wouldn't turn on lights, cold showers 6 days a week, with a hot bath one day, gas range and so on. Yet it was still outrageous!
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