McDonald’s Tells Underpaid Employees: Sell Your Christmas Presents for Cash

Written by Adam Peck

Tis the season for holiday spirit: Yule logs, egg nog, festive lights and exchanging gifts with loved ones. If you work for McDonald’s, though, be sure to save those receipts.

McDonald’s McResource Line, a dedicated website run by the world’s largest fast-food chain to provide its 1.8 million employees with financial and health-related tips, offers a full page of advice for “Digging Out From Holiday Debt.” Among their helpful holiday tips: “Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash.”

Elsewhere on the site, McDonald’s encourages its employees to break apart food when they eat meals, as “breaking food into pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full.” And if they are struggling to stock their shelves with food in the first place, the company offers assistance for workers applying for food stamps.

McDonald’s corporate officers have a history of offering questionable advice to their low-wage workers. Four months ago, the company partnered with Visa to distribute a sample “budget.” In it, the chain suggested that workers needn’t pay for such frivolous expenses like their heating bills, and factored in a monthly rent of $600. To workers living in New York City (home of 350+ stores) and other expensive metropolises, that number is almost comical.

McDonald’s employees are some of the most underpaid workers in the country. The company’s cashiers and “team members” earn, on average, $7.75 an hour, just 50 cents higher than the federal minimum wage. Responding to rising living costs, many stores have staged walk-outsstrikes and protests, demanding a living wage. In Europe, where the minimum wage for employees is $12, customers pay just pennies more than their American counterparts for the same menu items, while the stores themselves typically bring in higher profit margins than ones in the United States.

Of course, McDonalds has shown little willingness to negotiate higher salaries for their poorest workers even as labor rights groups up the pressure. Instead, their website has another piece of advice for people who are stressed about their meager paychecks: “Quit complaining,” the site suggests. “Stress hormones levels rise by 15% after 10 minutes of complaining.”

This post was originally published in ThinkProgress

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Donna Ferguson
Donna F4 years ago

huge corporations are scum!

Ulrike M.
Ulrike M4 years ago

In Germany we don't have minimum wage yet. It will come from 2015 on (hopefully) and it will be around $12,- for a lot of sectors, but not for all. Since §12,- are demanded since YEARS it will not be enough in the future EVER: :-((

Mark Donner
Mark Donner4 years ago

McPoison strikes again

vicky T.
vicky T4 years ago

McDonald's, I'm hatin it!

Murray C.
Murray C4 years ago

In 1969 we decided to call it McPukes.....I still do,,,

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se4 years ago


Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago


Amanda M.
Amanda M4 years ago

Petition signed with a vengeance!

I've already been boycotting McDonald's for years ever since I found out about their donating money to the Family Research Council. Then I read "Fast Food Nation" and saw "Super Size Me," and that clinched the deal.

Now seeing how they treat their employees like shit and pay them the same just makes me even more convinced that keeping McDonald's on my boycott list is a GOOD thing.

McDonald's is a BILLION-dollar enterprise-they can damn sure afford to stick a crowbar in their bank account and pay their employees the LIVING WAGE they deserve! Selfish, greedy bastards!

Misha L.
Irene L4 years ago

McDonald's and Walmart belong into the same category of shameless businesses. Their greed is unbelievable. Please boycott both chains. In the long run they'll get the message.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 years ago

Thanks for posting this.