In another victory for wage activists, the colossal McDonald’s corporation has announced that their wage hikes and introduction of paid leave has been very beneficial for the company, increasing customer satisfaction and decreasing job turnover. In April 2015, the fast food giant began slowly increasing wages from $9 to $9.90, planning to eventually raise wages above $10 by the end of 2016. They also began offering five days of paid vacation to workers who had spent more than a year working for the restaurant change.
“It has done what we expected it to—90 day turnover rates are down, our survey scores are up—we have more staff in restaurants. So far we’re pleased with it—it was a significant investment obviously but it’s working well” said McDonald’s U.S. president Mike Andres.
Only 10% of McDonald’s workers get to enjoy these admittedly paltry benefits, as the vast majority of McDonald’s restaurants are franchised but the move is pressuring franchisees to match the wage hikes and might be a sign of change in the industry as a whole, since McDonald’s posted their first increase in sales in two years after the move.
Stagnant wages have been a major contributor to the decline of the middle class and the rise in income equality in America. But these positive numbers will hopefully convince certain tight-fisted corporations (looking at you, Wal-Mart) to begin paying their workers a living wage and giving them some time off on their own accord.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.