Employment Benefits in the Fast Food Industry

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Employment Benefits in the Fast Food Industry The fast food industry has been expanding rapidly over the past years. It has become a part of our culture. In the book Labour Relations in the Global Fast-Food Industry, Robin Leidner quotes from Eric Schlosser who wrote the popular Fast Food Nation , “According to one estimate, there are approximately 2.5 million fast-food workers in the United States, making them the country’s largest group of low-paid workers (Leidner 11). Those 2.5 million fast-food workers are now working at Subway, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc. The American fast food industry was built on the promise of low prices and fast services. Therefore, the corporations have to keep the labor and other operating costs down. Employees who work in fast food restaurants receive low wages and minimal benefits. In the past, many fast food workers tried to unionize themselves for guaranteed wages and benefits; yet, they have failed as many times as they have tried. I argue that fast food employees should get basic benefits such as health insurance, personal days and sick days, and perhaps a 401K plan because these hard workers are worth the benefits they should receive based on their commitments and contributions to the company. I feel it is unfair for them to receive low wages and no to minimum benefits while the company earns great profits. Some argue that the burger flippers and cashiers at fast food chains do not deserve high wages and full benefits because most of them are unskilled and uneducated. Some of these workers are grateful to the franchises for giving them opportunities for jobs based on their lack of skills and education. Most of these employees are teenage... ... middle of paper ... ..., they should be qualified for greater benefits. From the commitments that employees put into their jobs, the company should appreciate their efforts by offering something more in return to the hard workers. Although the business goal is to make more profits, and fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s achieve this goal by reducing employment wages and benefits, the fast food corporations should recognize the effects of negative publicity. McDonald’s seem to have more negative publicity compared to Starbucks because Starbucks offers more benefits to their employees but less dangerous and easier jobs. Although they are both growing rapidly, Starbucks may be extending longer than McDonald’s based on their quality products and employee’s loyalty. The fast food industry should work harder to compete and maintain good workers as the labor market is getting tighter.

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