WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 19: Labor activists rally in support of raising the minimum wage to $ 15 … [+]
Those who went to the Golden Arches on Wednesday may have been unlucky as McDonald’s employees announced plans for a strike to raise their wages. These workers at the global fast food chain planned strikes in at least 15 cities. She was supported by Fight for $ 15, a movement that seeks $ 15 wages and even union rights for low-wage workers.
The effort was also supported by the Service Employees International Union, while the strike takes place the day before McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting.
The fast food giant reportedly made nearly $ 5 billion last year, and the public company’s shareholders saw dividends surge while its CEO was paid more than $ 10 million.
On Wednesday afternoon, the hashtags #McDonaldsStrike and # FightFor15 were all the rage on social media, and the number of memes made the rounds too.
The National Employment Law Project (@NelpNews) was among the organizations that showed their solidarity with workers on social media.
Brave New Films (@bravenewfilms) also urged social media users not to cross the picket line.
Fight for 15 (@ Fightfor15) shared a video by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC).
Vermont Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) backed calls to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers. His tweet was quoted hundreds of times and had more than 16,000 likes within a few hours.
He wrote: “In Denmark, the average McDonald’s worker earns $ 22 an hour, gets 6 weeks of paid vacation, 1 year of paid family vacation, life insurance and a pension. Yes. If McDonald’s workers in Denmark can have a decent standard of life can we do it in the US #McDonaldsStrike. “
Higher wages mean higher prices
However, there were those who responded to Senator Sanders and others who were just as quick to realize that grabbing a burger at lunchtime could be a lot more expensive as wages go up.
“In Denmark, the average cost of food in restaurants is over 52% higher than in the US,” @BrewAndBirdies wrote.
That sentiment was shared by Simeon Ikudabo (@SimBreezay), a social media designer, who added: “You also pay a lot more taxes, have higher costs of living and end up in the same situation as an American McDonald’s employee in most regions of the world US tends to have a lower tax burden and lower cost of living. “Net income” ends up being the same “.
“I guess I’ll buy McDonald’s today before the battle for higher wages leads to a robot serving my food,” wrote Gabriel E. Montalvo (@Baron_Montalvo), activism chairman of the New York Young Republican Club.
Podcast host Brian Craig (@BrianCraigShow) gave a similar response, suggesting that the order for touchpads will be coming soon.
Social media that get the message across
Strikes aren’t new, but social media could change the way users see this particular call to action. Even those who may not be eating at McDonalds are more willing to take sides as it is all the rage on the social platforms.
“What we’ve seen time and again on Twitter is the lightning-fast effectiveness of the platform for viral dissemination of information,” said Charles King, technology analyst and founder of Pund-IT.
“The news outlets today reported striking workers at McDonalds in 15 US cities, but I expect an additional 10 million people will be watching the events on Twitter,” added King. “Whether or how many of these people will pay attention to Bernie Sanders or AOC is uncertain. But the Twitter megaphone shouldn’t get out of hand by McDonald’s or its franchisees.”
The question is whether this ability to get the message across will lead to workers’ demands being heard, and actually being heard.
“Unfortunately, companies have always been on the whim of social media and now it’s a matter of biting them in the back,” said telecommunications analyst Jeff Kagan.
“Too many executives have mistakenly thought that an easy way out would solve their problems. But all it does is make the problems worse in the future,” added Kagan.
“While social media is definitely an effective way to get the word out there, there are consequences they haven’t prepared for,” noted Kagan. “For example, if workers’ wages go up, that’s good news in the short term, but in the long run, jobs will be lost and the price of everything will go up.”