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Press release/statement

McDonald’s Workers Deserve Higher Wages and Safe Labor Practices

Following the announcement that McDonald’s Corporation plans to raise wages by more than 10 percent for 90,000 employees, Demos Senior Policy Analyst Catherine Ruetschlin issued the following statement:

McDonald’s workers deserve this raise and much more.

“McDonald’s workers deserve this raise and much more. Demos’ research has shown that the fast food industry is one of the most unequal in the country, with CEOs making more than 1000 times the typical worker. Yet, at $9.01 an hour, McDonald’s current average hourly wage sits well below the industry’s average of $9.49 per hour. Moreover, this wage increase does not include the vast majority of McDonald’s employees who work at its franchisees. As the National Labor Relations Board determined last year, McDonald’s Corporation is jointly responsible for working conditions at those stores too.

"Yet low wages is just one issue these workers face. Workers have also complained of dangerous workplace conditions, wage theft, and racial discrimination. Recently, McDonald’s workers who suffered severe burns on the job filed 28 health and safety complaints against the company in 19 cities.

"It is no coincidence that McDonald’s decision to raise the wage for a small portion of its workers follows similar announcements by Wal-Mart, Target, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls. This rippling effect shows the power these companies have to set the labor standards for the rest of the country. That’s why on April 15th, more than 60,000 striking fast food workers across the United States will be joined by workers and community members from across industries, including retail, health care, and education workers. It is time for safe, fair labor practices and decent wages to become a reality for all workers.”