Sarah Jaffe has an opinion piece in The Washington Post
about the way the labor strikes has been covered in the media—often not at all, or placing emphasis on poor, low-wage workers as "some exotic Other rather than our neighbors, our family members and ourselves."
For the past several months, a number of elderly Korean patrons and this McDonald’s they frequent have been battling over the benches inside. The restaurant says the people who colonize the seats on a daily basis are quashing business, taking up tables for hours while splitting a small packet of French fries ($1.39); the group say they are customers and entitled to take their time. A lot of time.
“Do you think you can drink a large coffee within 20 minutes?” David Choi, 77, said. “No, it’s impossible.”
Does buying a $1.39 order of french fries at a fast food restaurant give you the right to sit there all day? The Times reports that a McDonald’s in Queens, N.Y. has been exasperated with a group of elderly Korean patrons who have made the fast food restaurant their hangout space despite the availability of senior centers nearby—some geared specifically toward the elderly Korean community. When asked why they kept coming back to the McDonald’s, some of the elderly men could not explain why, though I’ve been around enough elderly people to know that they like their routines and can easily get stuck in their ways.
Nancy Salgado, a single mother, asked McDonald's USA President Jeff Stratton if he thought it was fair that she earned $8.25 an hour working at McDonald's despite being there for 10 years.
His response: "I've been there [at McDonald's] 40 years."
A student at the University of Kansas School of Business did a little financial modeling based on annual reports from McDonald's to see how much menu food items would rise
in the theoretical case where employees were paid $15 an hour. The results: Big Macs would increase by 68 cents to $4.67, and items on the dollar menu would see price increases of 17 cents. Of course, this is theoretical, and an economics professor from the school calls it "a leap of faith" because that kind of wage increase would have huge, unforeseen effects (besides, you know, changing the lives of everyone who works at McDonald's).