Friday, July 24, 2015

The truth about the NY State $15 fast food minimum wage

The NY State Wage Board issued a recommendation to raise the NY State Minimum Wage from $8.75 to $15 an hour for fast-food franchises with 30 or more locations in NY State.   This proposed wage increase requires NY State Labor Commissioner approval before it's a done deal.  Let's look at some facts:

  • The increase will be phased in over 6 years, not right away:  The $15 an hour wage increase will not help workers right away, it will be phased in NYC by 2018 while the rest of NY State will have the $15 an hour minimum wage by 2021.  Do you really think anyone flipping burgers or serving coffee will make this a career path for the next 6 years?
  • There will be elimination of food perks:  A perk working in the fast food industry (as I once started there, working at three different McDonalds in the early 1990s) is free or reduced meals.  These meals usually add, on average, an $1 an hour to the salary, and they are often tax free.  The wage increase will drive labor costs, forcing companies to look by other means to cut labor expenses, such as eliminating free or discounted food.  This is the cost of doing business, you get a bigger salary but you would have to give up the food perk.  Besides, your body doesn't need to eat all that junk food,
  • The wage increase does not other labor fields, such as clerical, retail or other skilled labor:  Many small companies hiring clerical, secretarial, or other office work, pay at or slightly above minimum wage.  The same goes for retail shops such as Target, Wal-Mart and other retail outlets  The clerical workers have acquired some basic office skills which will be helpful in their career advancement so why not pay them the $15 an hour instead.  Why pay workers a higher minimum wage for a job with no skills or experience needed when there are office workers who are struggling on $8.75 an hour?  Flipping burgers is not a stepping stone for career advancement unless you want to advance to restaurant manager which are few and far between.
  • The fast-food industry is a stepping stone for first time job seekers and retirees, not as a career:  For decades, the majority of fast food workers are college students, and retirees.  It's a job, nonetheless, but it's a job where you develop basic skills such as listening and administering orders from your supervisors, time management skills, attendance/punctuality, and good customer service skills.  It's not a job for the next 20 years which is supposed to pay your rent and bills.  Besides, how would it look on your resume that your only jobs you had were working at McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts?  Would your future wife look at you when you tell her that you work at McDonalds for the past 10 years?  Is this the future of our U.S. workforce?
We should tackle income inequality in a better way - - by lowering taxes and providing real jobs with good pay.  The CEO of Dunkin Donuts said that NY State's $15 minimum wage is excessive and suggested that the NY State legislature should look at $12 an hour instead while tackling income inequality between the rich and poor. 

No comments:

Post a Comment