August 27 2013
Vicki E. Alger
Just in time for Labor Day, a collection of labor unions and other like-minded groups is bankrolling protests scheduled for this Thursday outside of fast food restaurants in 20 major cities nationwide. Nearly doubling the minimum wage to $15 up from $7.25 an hour is one goal. Another, as EAGnews reports, is upping union membership:
The other, longer-range goal of the protests is for labor activists to begin organizing the nation’s 3.7 million fast food workers. Big Labor needs them to become dues-paying members to replace the huge number of American workers who have quit their local unions in recent years.
According to Real Clear Market’s Diana Furchgott-Roth, labor union membership has been declining for the past three decades.
Surprisingly, that pace has actually quickened since labor-friendly Barack Obama became president. In 2012, the total unionization rate declined by half a percent, from 11.8 percent of wage and salary workers to 11.3 percent. …
That brings us to Thursday’s fast food protests, which are being organized and bankrolled by a collection of radical organizations, including the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of Teachers and the New York Communities for Change – the new name of the disgraced organization formerly known as ACORN.
Since the unions are legally prohibited from engaging in public acts of bullying, they are using rent-a-mob activists from Fast Food Forward and Low Pay Is Not OK to carry out the protests.
Americans who encounter one of the Thursday protests should keep in mind two important facts.
The first is that fewer than 3 percent of American workers actually make the minimum wage. That is to say, the country is not facing a “minimum wage crisis.”
The other is that 75 percent of fast food workers leave the industry every year, according to the L.A. Times. In other words, most fast food employees are using their time at the local McDonalds to gain some practical work experience and skills before moving on to greener pastures.
Extensive research by the Employment Policies Institute has found that raising the minimum wage costs jobs and does not alleviate poverty or help the economy.
As my colleague Carrie Lukas explains in her latest Policy Focus, “Raising the minimum wage may sound like a compassionate policy, but there is nothing compassionate about decreasing the number of entry-level jobs and making it harder for people to begin their climb up the economic ladder.”
So if you believe in jobs, the right to work, and freedom to eat tasty food without finger wagging from politicians, consider stopping by your favorite fast food restaurant on Thursday.