The claim that a company like McDonald’s can’t afford to pay wages over the minimum is absolutely insulting when you compare the salary of its CEO to one of its crew members.
I worked at a McDonald’s in New York over the summer and did a little math while I was there. In 2011, former McDonald’s CEO James Skinner made $8.75 million with compensation, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In comparison, crew members made $7.25 an hour, for about $15,000 a year, if they stayed at the job year-round.
If you take Skinner’s total salary in 2011 and assume that he worked 40-hour week, he would have made $4,200 an hour. In one hour, he made 580 times more than the average McDonald’s worker. James Skinner made $33,600 a day, which is twice the salary tht a McDonald’s crew member makes in a year of full-time work.
Looking at it another way, the average worker would have to work for almost 600 years to make the salary that Skinner made in 2011. In one year, Skinner makes more than I could make in at least six lifetimes.
Maximum lies about the minimum wage | Socialist Worker | Samantha Valente (via america-wakiewakie)
McDonald’s employs approximately 1.8 million workers worldwide (source). If you were to take Skinner’s 2011 income of $8.75 million and divide among all McDonald’s employees, that would mean an increase in their wages of $4.86 per year.
This article also cites economists arguing that the minimum wage should be raised to $10.50/hr. If this were to happen, it would mean an increase of about $6,724 in the yearly salary of the average worker*. For 1.8 million employees, this would cost McDonald’s more than $12 billion. Even if the minimum wage were to be raised to the $9.00/hr proposed by President Obama in the State of the Union Address, it would cost McDonald’s more than $6.5 billion a year.
So, yes, the minimum wage is below a living wage for someone with dependents, and that doesn’t seem fair, and maybe something needs to be done about it. But, it’s not “absolutely insulting” for McDonald’s to say that it would be a big deal if the minimum wage was increased— they would have a huge increase in expenses, and they would have to find a way to make up for that.
*If you assume that the majority of McDonald’s workers are getting paid at or around the minimum wage of $7.25/hr and working ~2070 hours a year (for a yearly salary of ~$15,000) and that an increase in the minimum wage would mean an equal increase in all wages (i.e., someone who has been working at McDonald’s for a year gets paid $0.25/hr above minimum wage would still be paid $0.25/hr above minimum wage even if the minimum were increased)