McDonald’s to Bump Up Wages, Offer Perks for Many Workers

The fast-food giant plans to improve pay and benefits for about 90,000 workers at company-owned stores. But will franchisees who run the vast majority of McDonald's follow suit?

McDonald’s to Bump Up Wages, Offer Perks for Many Workers Photo (cc) by JeepersMedia

Some 90,000 McDonald’s workers will soon get a raise and a couple other perks from the fast-food company.

Beginning July 1, starting wages at company-owned McDonald’s restaurants will be $1 more than the local minimum wage, the company said.

“The wages of all employees up to restaurant manager will be adjusted accordingly based on tenure and job performance,” McDonald’s added.

It’s estimated that by the end of 2016, the pay bump will put the average hourly wage rate at more than $10 for employees of company-owned McDonald’s.

In addition to the pay raise, McDonald’s also announced that full- and part-time employees that have worked at the fast-food chain for at least one year will earn paid time off. McDonald’s said:

For example, an employee who works an average of 20 hours per week will be eligible to accrue approximately 20 hours of paid time off per year. If these employees don’t take the time off they’ve earned, they will be paid for the value of that time.

The fast-food giant said it will pay for its employees to get their high school diploma, as well as offer some college tuition assistance.

McDonald’s president and CEO Steve Easterbrook, who has been the head of the company for just one month, said in a statement: “We’ve listened to our employees and learned that – in addition to increased wages – paid personal leave and financial assistance for completing their education would make a real difference in their careers and lives.”

The pay increase and ability to earn paid time off will affect more than 90,000 employees who work for company-owned McDonald’s stores. However, these stores represent just 10 percent of the 14,350 McDonald’s nationwide, The Wall Street Journal reports.

McDonald’s announcement is unlikely to satisfy its strongest critics, who have been calling for much larger increases and demanding the company take responsibility for pay and other policies at its franchisees. Fast Food Forward, a group backed by the Service Employees International Union, has helped organize nationwide protests at McDonald’s and other chains demanding a $15 hourly minimum and the right to form a union without employer backlash.

McDonald’s franchise owners have individual control over their wages and benefits.

According to the WSJ, Easterbrook said the franchisees are “experts… at setting the right pay levels in their local markets.”

I say kudos to McDonald’s for raising the wages of its lowest paid employees. It’s a start. Here’s hoping McDonald’s franchises follow suit.

Do you think McDonald’s pay bump goes far enough? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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