by David McElroy
None of the fast food places near me are shut down because of a growing series of strikes, as far as I know. But if the walkout extends to a McDonald’s or Wendy’s or something similar near here, I might have to eat there — just out of principle — because these misguided workers are wrong.
They’re being led astray by union bosses who want to increase their own power — by bringing more workers under their control — not caring that their actions are likely to destroy the jobs of the people they claim to want to help.
Guided by the union bosses of the Service Employees International Union, these employees are demanding that fast food chains increase their minimum starting pay to $15 an hour. Their pitch to the public: “We can’t survive on $7.25.”
I have no special love for the people who own and operate most fast food joints. With few exceptions, they’re poorly managed and the companies don’t care much about the customer experience or the employees. They tend to sell a sub-par product (which never looks like the product in the commercials). The employees tend to be rude and poorly trained. Management tends to be surly and unprepared. So what’s there to like about them? Simply that they give us quick access to generic, reasonably predictable food at pretty cheap prices (compared to traditional restaurants).
So why are the employees and their union bosses wrong? I could list a number of reasons why they’re wrong, but it all boils down to economics and morality.
The union campaign claims, “We are worth more,” but anyone who understands economics can tell you that’s wrong, for the simple fact that the labor market determines the worth of someone.