McDonald's, Pay Christmas Day Workers Overtime

Based on a boost in profits made on Thanksgiving Day, McDonald’s is urging its franchises to stay open Christmas Day as well. But employees who give up this holiday won‘t get any special gifts for doing so.

Spokeswoman Heath Oldani told Ad Age that Christmas Day workers won’t get overtime pay because it’s on a volunteer basis. But at a place where most workers don’t earn a living wage, giving up the holiday is hardly a choice. McDonald’s wages are among the lowest in the country, and the company has a recorded history of lobbying against wage increases and unions, says Bloomberg News.

Ad Age calculates that if all its 14,000 restaurants stay open Christmas Day, McDonald's could rack up an additional $80 million over the 2.5% boost in November.

It's downright greedy not to reward those who help make this happen. Tell McDonald’s: Don’t be a Scrooge. Pay your Christmas workers overtime.

We, the undersigned, believe McDonald’s can afford to reward its employees with extra pay for working on federal holidays.

While many businesses have struggled through the current deep recession, many families have struggled even more, and companies like McDonald’s, which have thrived during these hard times, have taken advantage of the desperate circumstances of the unemployed. Bloomberg news via Charlotte Observer reports that “fast-food restaurants have added positions more than twice as fast as the U.S. average during the economic recovery that began in June 2009.”

Ad Age says McDonald’s needs these boosts from holiday sales to make up for a 2.2% drop in October. But maybe the company should consider dropping a few executives’ salaries instead of treating its workers like sharecroppers. Bloomberg says the disparity between McDonald’s workers and its chief executive officers “has doubled in the last 10 years.” 

One that hits home the issue of the widening gap between worker and executive pay is Bloomberg’s story of a McDonald’s employee in Chicago who has to juggle two jobs at two different stores and try to scrub the greasy food smell off in between. And the company penalizes him if he can’t remove all of the odor. “'I hate when my boss tells me she won’t give me a raise because she can smell me,' he said." Even after working for the company for two decades, he still makes minimum wage and can’t get a full 40 hours of work at one store. Riding the train from one job to the next the worker passes the riverfront building of Trump International Hotel and Tower, where McDonald's CEO Thompson owns two condos valued a $3.3 million.

As profits have increased over the last few years, adds Bloomberg, shareholders, rather than employees, have benefited.

It’s about time the workers got a piece of this pie - especially those who give up their Christmas holidays to fatten McDonald’s profits.

We insist McDonald’s pay Christmas Day workers overtime.

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