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McDonald's $8.25 Man and $8.75 Million CEO Shows Pay Gap


Business  (tags: abuse, americans, business, consumers, corporate, corruption, dishonesty, economy, ethics, finance, government, labor, law, lies, marketing, money, politics, society )

Kit
- 675 days ago - bloomberg.com
The CEO makes almost 600 times as much as one Chicago worker. The $8.75 million that Thompson's predecessor as CEO, Skinner, made last year was 580 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.



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Kit B. (276)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 10:41 am
(Photo credit: prpprofits.com)

Please see opening of article at | VISIT SITE | to see charts and graphs.


Tyree Johnson scrubs himself with a bar of soap in a McDonald’s (MCD) bathroom and puts on fresh deodorant. He stashes his toiletries in a Kenneth Cole bag, a gift from his mother who works the counter at Macy’s, and hops on an El train. His destination: another McDonald’s.

Johnson isn’t one of Chicago’s many homeless people who seek shelter in fast-food joints. He’s a McDonald’s employee, at both stores -- one in the Loop, the other about a mile away in the shadow of Holy Name Cathedral.

He needs the makeshift baths because hygiene and appearance are part of his annual compensation reviews. Even with frequent scrubbings, he said before a recent shift, it’s hard to remove the essence of the greasy food he works around.

“I hate when my boss tells me she won’t give me a raise because she can smell me,” he said.

Johnson, 44, needs the two paychecks to pay rent for his apartment at a single-room occupancy hotel on the city’s north side. While he’s worked at McDonald’s stores for two decades, he still doesn’t get 40 hours a week and makes $8.25 an hour, minimum wage in Illinois.

This is life in one of America’s premier growth industries. Fast-food restaurants have added positions more than twice as fast as the U.S. average during the recovery that began in June 2009. The jobs created by companies including Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Yum (YUM)! Brands Inc., which owns the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC brands, are among the lowest-paid in the U.S. -- except in the C suite.

Pay Disparity

The pay gap separating fast-food workers from their chief executive officers is growing at each of those companies. The disparity has doubled at McDonald’s Corp. in the last 10 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time, the company helped pay for lobbying against minimum-wage increases and sought to quash the kind of unionization efforts that erupted recently on the streets of Chicago and New York.

Older workers like Johnson are staffing fast-food grills and fryers more often, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. In 2010, 16- to 19-year-olds made up 17 percent of food preparation and serving workers, down from almost a quarter in 2000, as older, underemployed Americans took those jobs.

“The sheer number of adults in the industry has just exploded” because fast-food restaurants “not only survived, but thrived during the economic recession,” said Saru Jayaraman, director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California at Berkeley.

Million Hours

Johnson would need about a million hours of work -- or more than a century on the clock -- to earn the $8.75 million that McDonald’s, based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, paid then- CEO Jim Skinner last year. Johnson’s work flipping burgers and hoisting boxes of french fries, like millions of other jobs in low-wage industries, helps explain why income inequality grew after the 2007-2009 recession ended.

The recovery from the last downturn has been the most uneven in recent history. The 1.2 million households whose incomes put them in the top 1 percent of the U.S. saw their earnings increase 5.5 percent last year, according to census estimates. Earnings fell 1.7 percent for the 97 million households in the bottom 80 percent -- those who made less than $101,583.

The widening chasm is most pronounced in the restaurant and retail businesses. The total number of people employed in the U.S. at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and McDonald’s and Yum Brands restaurants exceeds the entire 2.7 million population of Chicago. Net income at those three companies has jumped by at least 22 percent from four years ago.

Shareholders Benefit

Shareholders, not employees, have reaped the rewards. McDonald’s, for example, spent $6 billion on share repurchases and dividends last year, the equivalent of $14,286 per restaurant worker employed by the company. At the same time, restaurant companies have formed an industrywide effort to freeze the minimum wage, whose purchasing power is 20 percent less than in 1968, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that advocates for low- and middle-income workers.

Johnson begins most days the same way: picking cigarette butts out of the shower drain of a shared bathroom, using a tissue so he doesn’t touch them. While there’s a “No Smoking” sign posted inside the hotel where he lives, that doesn’t stop the other occupants who share the showers, sinks and toilets.

His rent at the hotel in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood is $320 a month. Johnson usually can’t cover it all at once, so he’s allowed to pay $160 every two weeks, or even $80 a week, for his first-floor room. He’s late on November rent and owes about $100 -- some of it a late-payment fee, he said. Since falling behind, he’s put off buying a Dell laptop for $99 that he found online.

‘Forget Computer’

“Forget about that computer,” Johnson said. For now, he’ll keep going to a local Apple store when he wants to update his Facebook page in his efforts to find someone nice to date and to stay in touch with his father.

A pay stub of Johnson’s shows that he earned $8,518.80 through Sept. 9 this year at the store that gives him most of his hours. He was able to work only 52 hours during the two- week pay period ending that date because the restaurant was being remodeled, he said. A statement of earnings from his other McDonald’s job shows that he worked fewer than 12 hours over two weeks, earning $95.45 before taxes.

Even with the U.S unemployment rate dropping last month to 7.7 percent, minimum-wage earners have less power to demand higher pay because so many adults are willing to take low-wage positions, said Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Joining Up

On a chilly November morning, Johnson interrupted his routine. He left his north side apartment and made his way to St. James Cathedral, just off Michigan Avenue, the so-called Magnificent Mile and heart of Chicago’s high-end shopping district. There he gathered with other low-wage employees from Macy’s Inc. (M), Eddie Bauer, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) and Victoria’s Secret.

He’d heard about an effort to form the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, a group pushing for a $15-an-hour wage. Johnson joined despite McDonald’s previous efforts to prevent unions, which have left workers with lingering fears. The Big Mac seller has employed a group of experienced managers and executives to parachute into locations where union activity is suspected. In 1998, after workers at a McDonald’s in Ohio went on strike to protest unfair wages and working conditions, the leaders lost their jobs, said Sonny Nardi, president of Local 416 Teamsters union in Cleveland.
Strikers Fired

“They took a stance,” Nardi said. And “the boys did get fired that started it.”

Johnson doesn’t talk about the union at work because certain co-workers would tell his manager, he said, and he’s afraid he would be reprimanded or even fired. Off the job, though, he’s comfortable discussing it. “I’m trying to fight for what I believe in,” he said.

Asked about McDonald’s history with organizing, Becca Hary, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that “We don’t have a corporate policy” on whether store workers are allowed to form unions.

Employers are doing more to keep workers from organizing, said Dorothy Sue Cobble, labor professor and historian at Rutgers University in New Jersey. “The numbers of people who get fired for joining a union or trying to organize one has increased dramatically over the last 30 years,” she said.

For Johnson, joining a union created strains with family members. He said they’re afraid they’ll have to give him money if he’s let go.

Family Fears

“They’re not supportive,” he said, adding that his mother and grandmother told him, “I’m happy you spoke up for yourself, but at the same time, don’t lose your job.”

His mother and 27-year-old sister work at Macy’s for a little more than minimum wage and had no interest in joining the union, Johnson said. “They didn’t want to have no part of it,” he said. “They’re struggling, too.”

At the restaurant where he gets most of his hours, he cooks hamburger patties and works the fryer. In the summers, he said, it’s “super hot” and he usually sweats at the steaming grill, part of the reason for his between-shift washings.

McDonald’s reiterated its emphasis on hygiene. “From the very beginning, our founder Ray Kroc instilled his vision of quality, service, cleanliness and value,” Hary said in an e- mail.

Cabrini-Green


McDonald’s $8.25 Man and $8.75 Million CEO Shows Pay Gap
By Leslie Patton - Dec 11, 2012 11:00 PM CT

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QUEUE
Q

Tyree Johnson scrubs himself with a bar of soap in a McDonald’s (MCD) bathroom and puts on fresh deodorant. He stashes his toiletries in a Kenneth Cole bag, a gift from his mother who works the counter at Macy’s, and hops on an El train. His destination: another McDonald’s.
Enlarge image Burger Flipper’s Double Duty Reveals Hidden Cost of Dollar Menu

Tyree Johnson, a 20-year McDonald's employee making minimum wage, crosses a street on his way to work in Chicago. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
McDonald's Worker Johnson Struggles to Pay Rent
1:56

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Tyree Johnson and Robert Wilson Jr., employees at McDonald's Corp. restaurants in Chicago, talk with Bloomberg's Leslie Patton about the challenge of living on a fast-food worker salary and their desire to make more money and increase their hours. Amie Crawford, an employee at a Chicago Protein Bar restaurant and a member of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, talks about the group's push for a $15-an-hour wage. (Source: Bloomberg)
Burger Flipper’s Double Duty Reveals Hidden Cost of Dollar Menu

Tyree Johnson, a 20-year McDonald's employee making minimum wage, stands for a photo outside of his home, the Wilson Men's Hotel, in Chicago. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Enlarge image Burger Flipper’s Double Duty Reveals Hidden Cost of Dollar Menu

Tyree Johnson, a 20-year McDonald's employee making minimum wage, waits for a train on his way to work in Chicago. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
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Johnson isn’t one of Chicago’s many homeless people who seek shelter in fast-food joints. He’s a McDonald’s employee, at both stores -- one in the Loop, the other about a mile away in the shadow of Holy Name Cathedral.

He needs the makeshift baths because hygiene and appearance are part of his annual compensation reviews. Even with frequent scrubbings, he said before a recent shift, it’s hard to remove the essence of the greasy food he works around.

“I hate when my boss tells me she won’t give me a raise because she can smell me,” he said.

Johnson, 44, needs the two paychecks to pay rent for his apartment at a single-room occupancy hotel on the city’s north side. While he’s worked at McDonald’s stores for two decades, he still doesn’t get 40 hours a week and makes $8.25 an hour, minimum wage in Illinois.

This is life in one of America’s premier growth industries. Fast-food restaurants have added positions more than twice as fast as the U.S. average during the recovery that began in June 2009. The jobs created by companies including Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Yum (YUM)! Brands Inc., which owns the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC brands, are among the lowest-paid in the U.S. -- except in the C suite.
Pay Disparity

The pay gap separating fast-food workers from their chief executive officers is growing at each of those companies. The disparity has doubled at McDonald’s Corp. in the last 10 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time, the company helped pay for lobbying against minimum-wage increases and sought to quash the kind of unionization efforts that erupted recently on the streets of Chicago and New York.

Older workers like Johnson are staffing fast-food grills and fryers more often, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. In 2010, 16- to 19-year-olds made up 17 percent of food preparation and serving workers, down from almost a quarter in 2000, as older, underemployed Americans took those jobs.

“The sheer number of adults in the industry has just exploded” because fast-food restaurants “not only survived, but thrived during the economic recession,” said Saru Jayaraman, director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California at Berkeley.
Million Hours

Johnson would need about a million hours of work -- or more than a century on the clock -- to earn the $8.75 million that McDonald’s, based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, paid then- CEO Jim Skinner last year. Johnson’s work flipping burgers and hoisting boxes of french fries, like millions of other jobs in low-wage industries, helps explain why income inequality grew after the 2007-2009 recession ended.

The recovery from the last downturn has been the most uneven in recent history. The 1.2 million households whose incomes put them in the top 1 percent of the U.S. saw their earnings increase 5.5 percent last year, according to census estimates. Earnings fell 1.7 percent for the 97 million households in the bottom 80 percent -- those who made less than $101,583.

The widening chasm is most pronounced in the restaurant and retail businesses. The total number of people employed in the U.S. at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and McDonald’s and Yum Brands restaurants exceeds the entire 2.7 million population of Chicago. Net income at those three companies has jumped by at least 22 percent from four years ago.
Shareholders Benefit

Shareholders, not employees, have reaped the rewards. McDonald’s, for example, spent $6 billion on share repurchases and dividends last year, the equivalent of $14,286 per restaurant worker employed by the company. At the same time, restaurant companies have formed an industrywide effort to freeze the minimum wage, whose purchasing power is 20 percent less than in 1968, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that advocates for low- and middle-income workers.

Johnson begins most days the same way: picking cigarette butts out of the shower drain of a shared bathroom, using a tissue so he doesn’t touch them. While there’s a “No Smoking” sign posted inside the hotel where he lives, that doesn’t stop the other occupants who share the showers, sinks and toilets.

His rent at the hotel in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood is $320 a month. Johnson usually can’t cover it all at once, so he’s allowed to pay $160 every two weeks, or even $80 a week, for his first-floor room. He’s late on November rent and owes about $100 -- some of it a late-payment fee, he said. Since falling behind, he’s put off buying a Dell laptop for $99 that he found online.
‘Forget Computer’

“Forget about that computer,” Johnson said. For now, he’ll keep going to a local Apple store when he wants to update his Facebook page in his efforts to find someone nice to date and to stay in touch with his father.

A pay stub of Johnson’s shows that he earned $8,518.80 through Sept. 9 this year at the store that gives him most of his hours. He was able to work only 52 hours during the two- week pay period ending that date because the restaurant was being remodeled, he said. A statement of earnings from his other McDonald’s job shows that he worked fewer than 12 hours over two weeks, earning $95.45 before taxes.

Even with the U.S unemployment rate dropping last month to 7.7 percent, minimum-wage earners have less power to demand higher pay because so many adults are willing to take low-wage positions, said Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Joining Up

On a chilly November morning, Johnson interrupted his routine. He left his north side apartment and made his way to St. James Cathedral, just off Michigan Avenue, the so-called Magnificent Mile and heart of Chicago’s high-end shopping district. There he gathered with other low-wage employees from Macy’s Inc. (M), Eddie Bauer, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) and Victoria’s Secret.

He’d heard about an effort to form the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, a group pushing for a $15-an-hour wage. Johnson joined despite McDonald’s previous efforts to prevent unions, which have left workers with lingering fears. The Big Mac seller has employed a group of experienced managers and executives to parachute into locations where union activity is suspected. In 1998, after workers at a McDonald’s in Ohio went on strike to protest unfair wages and working conditions, the leaders lost their jobs, said Sonny Nardi, president of Local 416 Teamsters union in Cleveland.
Strikers Fired

“They took a stance,” Nardi said. And “the boys did get fired that started it.”

Johnson doesn’t talk about the union at work because certain co-workers would tell his manager, he said, and he’s afraid he would be reprimanded or even fired. Off the job, though, he’s comfortable discussing it. “I’m trying to fight for what I believe in,” he said.

Asked about McDonald’s history with organizing, Becca Hary, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that “We don’t have a corporate policy” on whether store workers are allowed to form unions.

Employers are doing more to keep workers from organizing, said Dorothy Sue Cobble, labor professor and historian at Rutgers University in New Jersey. “The numbers of people who get fired for joining a union or trying to organize one has increased dramatically over the last 30 years,” she said.

For Johnson, joining a union created strains with family members. He said they’re afraid they’ll have to give him money if he’s let go.
Family Fears

“They’re not supportive,” he said, adding that his mother and grandmother told him, “I’m happy you spoke up for yourself, but at the same time, don’t lose your job.”

His mother and 27-year-old sister work at Macy’s for a little more than minimum wage and had no interest in joining the union, Johnson said. “They didn’t want to have no part of it,” he said. “They’re struggling, too.”

At the restaurant where he gets most of his hours, he cooks hamburger patties and works the fryer. In the summers, he said, it’s “super hot” and he usually sweats at the steaming grill, part of the reason for his between-shift washings.

McDonald’s reiterated its emphasis on hygiene. “From the very beginning, our founder Ray Kroc instilled his vision of quality, service, cleanliness and value,” Hary said in an e- mail.

Cabrini-Green

Johnson gets through the monotonous days by joking with co- workers about sports -- he’s a Los Angeles Lakers fan amid Chicago Bulls supporters. Their manager tells them to keep the chatting to a minimum. “They don’t want you to talk about none of that,” he said.

That store, near the cathedral, is less than a mile from where his mother raised him, in the Cabrini-Green public housing project, most of which has since been demolished. McDonald’s new CEO, Don Thompson, who took the post in July, spent part of his childhood a few blocks from the project.

That’s where the trajectories of their lives parted. Johnson graduated from Lincoln Park High School in 1987. He then spent six months at the Computer Learning Center in Chicago to earn a certificate in computer operations. He paid off his student-loan debt just a couple years ago. He couldn’t find a job in that field, so he settled for one at a KFC in Evanston, a suburb on Chicago’s northern border.

Johnson started at McDonald’s in 1992, two years after Thompson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1984. Thompson worked at what was then Northrop Corp. before joining McDonald’s.

Humble Roots

“Don came from extremely humble beginnings and with hard work and with the values of his grandmother” he made his way up the ranks at McDonald’s, said Heidi Barker, a company spokeswoman, noting that three McDonald’s CEOs started as store employees. Thompson declined to be interviewed for this story.

While Johnson has benefited from small pay raises and some minimum-wage increases -- the rate was boosted from $8 in 2010 in Illinois -- he said he’s often knocked down to the lowest level when a McDonald’s franchise changes ownership. He’s been bounced to different stores in Chicago (he’s worked at six in all), which also results in pay getting cut to minimum wage, he said.

“Every time they transfer you to a different store, they lower your pay,” he said. “You have to climb back up.”

McDonald’s has no involvement in its franchisees’ salary policies, Hary, the company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “Our franchisees are independent business owners and make all their own hiring and wage decisions.”

Applebee’s Lawsuit

Other chains have faced similar accusations. Applebee’s restaurants in Illinois paid some workers $4.95 an hour -- the state minimum wage for servers and others who get tips -- when they were washing dishes or doing other cleaning duties that should be paid the higher, regular minimum wage, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown ruled in August.

Four workers, representing thousands of employees, had sued AppleIllinois LLC, which operates 34 restaurants in Illinois, in the class action. In court filings, the company denied that it broke the law. George Werden, general counsel at AppleIllinois, declined to comment on the case.

Fast-food workers trailed other low-wage occupations, with median earnings in 2009 to 2011 at $18,564, compared with $19,099 for child care and $20,101 for cashiers, according to federal data. The U.S. average for the same years was $42,110. Fast-food employment jumped 7.3 percent in that period compared with the previous three years; the overall U.S. average dropped 1.3 percent. From February 2010 to February 2012, the number of restaurant jobs grew more than twice as fast as the average.

CEO Ratio

The wage gap between CEOs and store workers wasn’t always so wide. Twenty years ago, when Johnson first started at McDonald’s, the CEO’s compensation was about 230 times that of a full-time worker paid the federal minimum wage. The $8.75 million that Thompson’s predecessor as CEO, Skinner, made last year was 580 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

McDonald’s is part of a larger trend of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies, according to data from the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations. The pay gap between the average S&P 500 CEO and the average U.S. worker, which was 42 times in 1980, widened to 380 times in 2011 from 325 times in 2010, the umbrella group of 56 unions said.

In Chicago’s Loop, the Chase Tower looms over the McDonald’s where Johnson works about six hours a week. At this store, he unloads trucks and organizes food by expiration date in the basement refrigerators and freezers. He doesn’t cook or take orders at the cash register.

Replacing Teenagers

He’s been told he’s slower than he used to be. “They feel like I can’t do my job like I could in my 20s,” he said, “and they throw it in my face all the time.”

Johnson has applied for jobs at retail stores but has never heard back from them. Like him, more and more fast-food workers are adults struggling to make ends meet, not teenagers earning a bit of spending money.

Amie Crawford, a 56-year-old former interior designer, began working for minimum wage at Protein Bar in February. She took a job at the quick-service restaurant after she relocated to Chicago and couldn’t find a job in her field. With an associate’s degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, she used to describe herself as comfortably middle class.

In the last two years, she has sold her car and home and is now dipping into her $55,000 of savings and retirement money to pay rent..

McDonald’s Rudder

Protein Bar employees who start at minimum wage are eligible for a 50-cent raise after 60 days of employment and completing certain types of training, said Matt Matros, who founded the restaurant in 2009. While Crawford got the pay increase in September, she still doesn’t earn enough to pay rent at her one-bedroom apartment in the South Loop.

“If McDonald’s were paying $15 an hour, that’s what we would need to do,” Matros said. “It’s really the larger companies that act as sort of the rudder of the ship.”

The last federal increase to the minimum wage was in 2009, to $7.25. When adjusted for inflation, the wage was worth $9.07 an hour in 1968, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Fast-food chain franchisees, who own 89 percent of McDonald’s 14,100 domestic stores, spend money lobbying against minimum-wage increases at the state level. In 2006, restaurant chains and their franchisees, including McDonald’s, spent at least $960,000 to fight minimum-wage increases in Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, Arizona, Montana and Missouri, according to Followthemoney.org, a website operated by the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Other chains spending money to stem pay increases include Wendy’s Co. (WEN), Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (BLMN)’s Outback Steakhouse, Jack in the Box Inc. (JACK) and Domino’s Pizza Inc. (DPZ)

‘Personal Privacy’

It’s difficult to track the full amount of money because franchised-store owners operate under different business names. Similarly, campaigns opposing minimum-wage increases aren’t always clearly named. “Ohioans to Protect Personal Privacy” got $107,000 from the Northeastern Ohio McDonald’s Advertising Association in an unsuccessful fight against an Ohio wage- increase proposal in 2006.

In July, Senator Thomas Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, introduced a bill to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.10 an hour and for subsequent increases to $8.95 and $9.80 an hour. An increase for Johnson would help him cut down on his twice-monthly trips to church food pantries for canned soup and chili, cereal, peanut butter and powdered milk. He often eats at his grandmother’s or aunt’s house, which has spared him from needing food stamps like many of his peers.

Food Stamps

A growing proportion of fast-food employees get federal assistance to buy food, according to census data compiled by the University of Minnesota Population Center. The proportion of fast-food workers who receive food stamps rose to 26.9 percent in 2010, compared with 15 percent of all Americans, the data show.

There are benefits from working at a place like McDonald’s. Johnson gets free food at one of the stores, though he has grown a bit tired of filling up on Double Quarter Pounders and Angus Mushroom & Swiss burgers. While he used to be able to eat his meals in the restaurant lobby, recently he’s been forced to dine in the small break room in the back.

“My boss said, ‘If I catch you on camera eating in the lobby, you’re going to lose your job,’ ” Johnson said. “I don’t understand that one, but I have to live with it. Those are her rules.”

CEO Perks

Thompson’s perks are on a different order. Like other McDonald’s executives, he has access to annual physical exams, a company-provided car for personal use, financial counseling and security, according to the company’s latest annual proxy statement. The CEO also gets to use company aircraft for personal trips, it said.

About 20 miles east of McDonald’s headquarters, Johnson recently made his way to work in downtown Chicago. He wore two pairs of pants and a sweater over his white-collared McDonald’s uniform shirt because it was below freezing. He used his seven- day pass to catch the train toward the Loop, worried because the $23 pass will cost him $28 next year with proposed transit price increases.

As the elevated train rattled over the Chicago River, Johnson’s head was down as he stared at his phone. He busily texted someone -- a woman he’d met earlier this year while waiting for a bus.

He didn’t look up as the train passed in sight of Trump International Hotel and Tower. It’s the riverfront building where Thompson spent about $3.3 million in September to buy two condos near the top.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gary Putka at gputka@bloomberg.net
**************

By Leslie Patton | Bloomberg News report |
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 10:47 am

This man is classically the example of the many working at more than one job, being abused in the work place and has no recourse from a Union Action. While the Rich gain ever more benefits and exorbitant salaries the poor and borderline poor gain ever less for themselves and their families. The new face of America and the world, the people gain nothing, can not get ahead and are rolled over by the ever expanding take over of all facets of life.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 12:18 pm
"At the same time, the company helped pay for lobbying against minimum-wage increases and sought to quash the kind of unionization efforts that erupted recently on the streets of Chicago and New York. "

The lobbying is just as obscene as the salaries and bonuses of those CEOs.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 12:21 pm
And honestly, anyone so concerned about the federal budget deficits and debt, ought to support higher wages. With more people making more money, fewer would need food stamps and eranred income credit, more would be paying taxes.
 

jan b. (3)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 12:35 pm
The Irony is---the CEO can have a contract with his employer and no one thinks one thing about it. Yet if the workers want to have a contract with the same employer....it's considered outlandish They have to protest and are often attacked for this idea of a union. .
 

jan b. (3)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 12:37 pm
The most under-reported and neglected aspect of the good food movement is the 20 million workers who toil every day—often under inhumane conditions—harvesting fields, killing and cutting up animals, packing boxes, driving trucks, clerks behind the counters, some cooking meals, ringing up orders, serving tables, and cleaning up the mess, Millions of food workers are struggling to eat at all. The word ironic doesn’t even begin to describe the injustice. A shameful 40 percent (8 million) of all food workers currently earn the minimum wage. And partly because that wage is set so low, an incredible 10 million food workers (half of the total 20 million) earn below the poverty line for a family of three. Adding to the irony? The feds are picking up the slack with food assistance programs. Food workers participate in food stamps at 1.2 times the rate of others. Also, food workers are more likely receive Medicaid and those lacking health benefits often use emergency rooms for primary care.
 

Yulan Lawson (156)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 1:51 pm
Thanks for the heads up, McDonalds is crap food. They don't care about the burgers it's all about real estate for them.
 

Angelika R. (143)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 2:44 pm
"PAY GAP" - sort of a funny term for THAT differene, hm? You clearly are missing a strong union there, unthinkable over here. All three of those criminal CEOs need to be processed like their products are and then get a nice flip-over job.
 

Robert K. (31)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 3:01 pm
Someone please explain to me why "right to work" laws aren't unconstitutional. There needs to be a maximum wage after which taxes become 100% and compensation stops being a write off for the company.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 4:20 pm
Thanks.
 

Robert O. (12)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 4:24 pm
I read this last night on another site and was imply horrified and saddened. I know there's a gap between rich and poor but don't understand why it has to be so enormous and why the GOP believe the 1% are so endangered that they must have ridiculous tax breaks and are the only ones entitled to a secure lifestyle.
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 5:39 pm
Fricking Ray Kroc was an admitted Satanist and he did so on national TV. That's probably one of the reasons I can't eat that stuff. It's also one of the foundations that the increase of other people's suffering is that it is a sweet smelling incense to Lucifer.
That aside, I'm not a fan of big unions but the fast food industry is one of those areas where one is definitely needed. Of course if you treated your employees fairly there wouldn't be a need for one. Oh and let's thank Slick Billy Clinton while we're at it. He an Hilly are Luciferians too.
'
 

Michelle R. (5)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 5:44 pm
People need to stop being so greedy! Does this CEO not know the current state of our economy? "Share the wealth!" By that I mean, pay people a wage that they can actually LIVE off of!!
 

pam w. (191)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 6:03 pm
And what would happen if the McDonalds workers were given a raise?

Do you suppose Mr, Kroc's personal earnings would be reduced?

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....try again.

The McBurger would be more expensive, of course!
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 6:33 pm

Oh horrors, increase the price of a grease burger and pay the workers a fair wage. Ray Kroc is long deceased. There is a interesting story about the early beginnings of McDonald's back when they used real food. That time is not coming back, but that doesn't mean we can't do something about the abuse of workers in this country.
 

Dandelion G. (379)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 6:43 pm
While he’s worked at McDonald’s stores for two decades, he still doesn’t get 40 hours a week and makes $8.25 an hour, minimum wage in Illinois.

That is the way it is for so many in this here United States. 20 years and still not given a full time job at a living wage. Honestly I don't know why anyone would want to immigrate here anymore, unless their Country is so lax on human rights. Just make sure you are healthy, so you don't need medical care and can keep up the stamina of all the jobs you need just to pay for a simple roof over your head. The man I took the excerpt out of is only able to pay for a room to live in.
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 11:07 pm
Ray Kroc has been dead for many years now. The stores are franchises that pay corporate 1 cent per burger. In the 1980's the ratio of CEO pay to median wage of the workers was more like 50-fold or less--that is far more equitable and consistent with sweat equity.
 

Dorothy N. (63)
Friday December 14, 2012, 2:29 am
Personally, I pretty much stopped eating McDonalds when their food deteriorated years and years ago and continue not buying it (at all now) because of the way they treat their workers.

That and they've had too many horse-meat and downer cow convictions for me to think of their food without shuddering - haven't eaten their food for - wow, maybe a couple of decades or more?

They actually made good burgers when they first came into our area, in my distant youth, then went rather yucky.

But on the rare occasions that I send out for food, it's been typically either from a family-owned Chinese food restaurant in our area that makes perfect steamed veggies every time or from a local pizza place that uses real ingredients.

Try looking around for family-owned restaurants, where the food and customers matter, and where the workers are more likely to matter more, too, as the place will be run by business-people who recognise the value of a good worker who knows their routine.
 

Craig Pittman (46)
Friday December 14, 2012, 7:05 am
I just plain will not eat in a fast food or chain restaurant. We have a momvement in this county that is promoting family owned and run restaurants. Workers are not treated like cattle and they make a decent wage. The level of income disparity on this continent is just plain obscene. Multi-billion corporations not paying a living wage - why isn't everybody mad as hell? Incidentally our Township now has no fast food restaurants and no chain restaurants. Thes corporations will continue their behaviour until they are forced to change and that change will be hastened by boycotts.
 

Craig Pittman (46)
Friday December 14, 2012, 8:54 am
I agree completely with Dororthy and thank for this Kit. I have made the arguement before and it bears repeating. As long as we support industries such as these then we are part of the problem. We might as well stand in front of mirror to point at who is reponsible. For an excellent overview of this industry pick up a copy of 'Fast Food Nation'. Ok this has been my daily rant now I think I will go out for a good home-cooked breakfast at the diner.
 

Arielle S. (317)
Friday December 14, 2012, 10:16 am
There's a lot of talk about "heroes" in this country but for me, the real heroes are people like this - who get up every day and go off to make a living, albeit a rather poor one. Our McDonald's is always crammed at breakfast time - a half mile down the road is a family restaurant that serves huge cups of good coffee, fresh eggs (not frozen and shaped), and a nice selection of well-prepared breakfast items. There is never any decision for us on where to go - And to quote Michael Moore: "There is a McDonald's two blocks from Ground Zero. Trust me, McDonald's has killed far more people than the terrorists." What damage McDonald's doesn't do with their food, they manage to do with their greed.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Friday December 14, 2012, 10:17 am
Aside from simply the issues of our food and factory farms, etc. We certainly have the issue of exec salary to wage ratio. Increasing over time is oen thing ruining this nation.

The best thing for the economy would be for all those executives at companies with a high exec pay to average wage pay to simply start paying more. These ratios are at an all time high and that is what hurts the economy. People who work and are on food stamps is not a good thing and it is the choice of these companies to have our federal government subsidize the company so that the company doesn't have to pay higher wages.

Higher wages would mean more out of the hole of needing benefits, needing earned income credit, and more actually paying taxes.
 

Kath P. (11)
Friday December 14, 2012, 11:01 am
Shame, shame, shame. The sad part is 'they' don't feel it at all :-(
 

Alice C. (1797)
Friday December 14, 2012, 3:10 pm
Many people make nothing for the work they do. It's a labor of love. How much money does anyone need? We need enough to keep a roof over our head and put food on the table. People need a working wage.
 

Kit B. (276)
Friday December 14, 2012, 4:36 pm

Sad but true - these folks have no idea what means to walk in the shoes of those who are working for them.
 

llouise Woychesko (1)
Friday December 14, 2012, 6:24 pm
Indecent and immoral.
 

Carlene V. (203)
Friday December 14, 2012, 7:40 pm
Problem is the lobbyists for these thuggish companies have the GOP convinced that unions are bad, that workers would have to pay union dues, that there is no competition, etc. Strong union membership never hurt anyone, it has helped many and if these CEO's were forced to pay higher wages, a la a union contract, there would be less people applying for welfare, food stamps and free medical care. Isn't that what they want, less governement? No wonder the Republican party is in the shambles it is. Look what they just did in MI just like WI and the people in WI voted to allow Walker to stay in office! I found that incredible.
 

Lois Jordan (56)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 5:18 pm
Noted. Thanks, Kit. And, this is one of the main reasons that many online movements are pushing for a $15 hr. minimum wage. Knowing it won't happen, but putting us in a position to "bargain down" to perhaps $10 or $12, which is line with cost-of-living.
 

Gloria picchetti (296)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 6:58 pm
Happy to say I don't eat this garbage anyway.
 

Edith B. (141)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 9:13 pm
Thanks, Kit. I personally don't eat at McDonald's, can't stand their food. Their people are apparently treated as badly as those at Wal Mart. When the minimum wage is increased, they will raise the price of their junk food and continue to treat their workers as badly as they do now. After his first year of college, our son announced that he wanted "to take a year off". He got a job at McDonald's that summer. He gladly returned to college in the fall, and still says it was the worst job he ever had.
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (276)
Wednesday December 26, 2012, 12:59 am
Why doesn't this surprise me
 
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