Video: $15-minimum-wage rally at South Admiral McDonald’s

February 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

As mentioned in our West Seattle Thursday calendar highlights, $15-minimum-wage supporters promised demonstrations outside local McDonald’s today while calling for a one-day boycott of that chain as well as Wendy’s and Burger King (neither of which has West Seattle stores). We went by all local McDonald’s at lunchtime and found no protesters; one finally turned up at the South Admiral store; and then a media alert went out about a rally after 5 pm. So we checked it out; about two dozen demonstrators and plenty of citywide media. They were planning to be there until about 5:45. On the political side, the city’s Select Committee on Minimum Wage and Income Inequity has its first meeting March 5th – details on its schedule and mission here.

28 Comments

  1. If they raise the wages of everybody who is making less than $15/hr to $15/hr, what happens to those who were making $15/hr., presumably because they were more valuable to the company? Their wages would also need to be raised, and so on up the ladder. Also with raised wages comes a greater cost to the employer for FICA and insurance. It’s not just wages for the lower tier of employees involved here.

    Comment by WestSide45 — 6:35 pm February 20, 2014 #

  2. Absolute fools….No idea how the real world is.

    Comment by WSDAD — 7:02 pm February 20, 2014 #

  3. I hope they get the $15 so I can get a second job to pay off my vacation home.

    Comment by brandon — 7:17 pm February 20, 2014 #

  4. I suspect that there will be a flattening out of wages right at $15/hr, and any raises that might have gone to those who have proven themselves, will go to into the pockets of those who are currently earning less than the min wage.

    I know of one store in WS, part of a national chain, that will likely close up shop throwing out of work several people who are a paycheck away from being homeless, one actually IS homeless. Could the chain pay more? Probably, but I don’t see anyone else employing him in the short term.

    What is left out of the min wage debate are the AFTER TAX credits that low income folks are eligible for. We know they work hard, that’s not the question, but for a single parent in the mid-teens of income with several kids, the EIC can put nearly $7,000 into his/her pocket. And this doesn’t disqualify him/her from the myriad of other public benefits they are eligible for.

    Is this corporate welfare? Maybe, maybe not. This is actually socialism at work (you folks like socialism, right?), distributing money from higher income taxpayers to lower income workers. These type of gov’t credits do enable Wal-Mart to pay their employees less, sure, but it also allows us to purchase goods cheaper. It’s a complicated picture, and it’s an interesting debate.

    Comment by G — 8:09 pm February 20, 2014 #

  5. Sheep.

    Comment by Smitty — 8:27 pm February 20, 2014 #

  6. Wow, two blocks south of Admiral is south admiral? Lol

    Comment by Ian — 8:27 pm February 20, 2014 #

  7. The CEO’s of McDonald’s and Starbucks earn more than $9,200 an hour, which is at least 1,000 times the hourly wages of their sales associates.
    466 Hours of Worker Overtime Equals One Hour of CEO Pay. The minimum wage has stagnated while corporate profits and CEO pay have soared.
    Question being do those same CEO’s buy more than one vehicle or purchase/consume more than the average person? Just because they can afford more doesn’t mean they spend more.

    Comment by WSlite — 8:40 pm February 20, 2014 #

  8. Sigh…just sigh…

    WSDAD..sadly, some know all too well what the real world is. McDonald’s workers? minimum wage workers? Some feel that they are disposable…or need to simply pull themselves us ad nauseum. That’s not the real world…sometimes it’s a bit harsher than that.

    Comment by JanS — 9:04 pm February 20, 2014 #

  9. $15. If Seattle’s Socialist Kshama Sawant, who has never held a steady job outside of acedemia, gets her way, 71% of Puget Sound Restaurants would run in the Red and would have to close. This number was determined by our Restaurant Accounting firm that also services several hundred restaurants nationwide. That’s not opinion, that’s straight math.Those are the numbers.

    In Seattle its like someone saying to you “Next month, You will now have to pay 62% more for your rent or mortgage, deal with it.”

    National Fast Food Chains will just switch to automation after firing 80% of their staff. Small, medium sized, Mom&Pop, Independent and Local operators DO NOT have that kind money, and will have to cut jobs and hours, then raise prices to compensate for extra expense, just to break even. Middle managers would suffer the most. Support staff, bussers, hostess, and bar-backs would be next. Over all dining experiences would suffer if these critical players were laid off. Not to mention even if they got to keep their job, Bartenders and Servers would never see a tip again due to increased.prices.

    Failed leadership and grandiose social experiments in wage manipulation, doomed another even bigger Metropolitan area,It was once the industrial heart of America. They drove businesses out. Then systematically, conceived, executed, and finalized their own City’s implosion in the name of “the Social Good”. Do we want that? Do we want to be the Next Detroit? If we.do, a $15 minimum wage would be a good first step.

    Comment by Work smarter not harder — 9:12 pm February 20, 2014 #

  10. Now the rhetoric gets confusing – what’s wrong with academia? I’ve seen anti-$15 commenters declare that people need to get education and pull themselves up and THEN they’ll deserve more – don’t they need professors and teachers to do that?

    Comment by WSB — 9:31 pm February 20, 2014 #

  11. It is hard not to feel bad about those who earn minimum wage. They are not disposable and I wish they could do better. But as others have said, minimum wage is a stepping stone onto bigger things. Do you job, learn a new skill while there and you move up the chain. I don’t think there is a business out there that won’t reward a good worker with better pay and more responsibility.
    .
    Yet, there are workers who won’t work, train or even try. Do they deserve $15? How much does the manager now make? $16? Their skill is certainly worth more than $1 so should it be $20? Then what about the college grad who now starts at $12. Did they waste their time in school? Or do they now start at $20 too? Now everybody has more money and rent goes up to $1500 for a studio. Poor minimum wage guy is now SOL again. Do we now move the minimum wage to $20? It is a slippery slope… The only guy winning is the studio owner.
    .
    Minimum wage should be entry level wages for unskilled workers. Spend some time in a job and get ahead like the manager or take classes like the college grad. Can’t do either? You can be like my “unskilled” grandparents who made poverty wages all their life with no way out: Make sure you kids are better educated than yourself and they will get ahead.

    Comment by Eric1 — 9:39 pm February 20, 2014 #

  12. Could a small business like Alki Bike and Board keep all their employees on payroll at $15/hr? Some business owners don’t make $15/hr.

    Comment by Mike — 2:54 am February 21, 2014 #

  13. ian, heh. Sad ain’t it.

    Comment by Admiral935 — 4:20 am February 21, 2014 #

  14. If you have a problem with the wage, stop eating at fast food restaurants and cook your own food and stop shopping at retail stores and outlets,,,,, that’ll sure show them entitled employees. Ohh yeah, we are the richest nation in the world and all of a sudden our economy will collapse because lower wage earners get a raise!?!? They will spend more.. Hence more money being spent at ” ma & pop” shops. That is, unless you are a Walmart fan who loves stepping on all employees for a profit. Even though you say “God bless America” as you spend your money on products made in China. Get a grip people, a higher minimum wage is not the downfall of American society, narrow minded views are.

    Comment by Erik — 6:55 am February 21, 2014 #

  15. What makes people think that “flipping burgers” is worth $15.00 an hour?
    Does that mean a Corrections Officer (CO) in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, just hired, is doing a job that is $1.01 more valuable than they are? That the danger they face EVERYDAY in guarding sometimes violent criminals is only worth $1.00 more?
    The starting salary for a CO is $16.01 per hour (BTW – That is with the Seattle/Tacoma Locality pay added in, otherwise it’s $13.14 an hour), and contrary to popular belief, Federal Employees DO NOT get free medical or retirement benefits. We need to purchase and contribute to those just like every one else.
    The difference is that a person starting as a CO has an upward path for promotion, job training and pay raises. But you have to WORK for those things, they aren’t just handed to you.
    Fast Food joints and minimum wage jobs are ENTRY LEVEL jobs, if you plan on making fast food a career, then you lack the drive to earn more, and why should you be paid for your laziness?

    Comment by Ex-Weswood Resident — 7:30 am February 21, 2014 #

  16. I love how any time workers/poor want more we’re told how it’ll kill jobs, destroy business, etc. But, when the rich say they need more, be it tax breaks or whatever, we are told it’s okay, and that a rising tide lifts all boats. Shouldn’t the same logic hold true for paying more to the people who actually do the work? If they have more money it will be spent in the local economy helping local business instead of giving the rich more that they will likely justSouth Park. Kanye defending Kim put in the stock market.

    Comment by Dick — 8:19 am February 21, 2014 #

  17. Hey Dick, not following the last part of your post….? Voodoo Economics perhaps?

    Comment by M — 8:47 am February 21, 2014 #

  18. Don’t forget that MANY other businesses employ people for less than $15/hr right now and this is going to cause a greater ripple effect than just in fast food businesses. Daycare centers, nursing homes and Assisted Living Facilities, in home caregivers for your elderly family member, para professionals in the classrooms, residential support staff for people with disabilities, etc. most do have training and education beyond high school and many have degrees, and I have always maintained they deserve higher wages than their present minimum wages to $12/hr or so. We could choose to eat less fast food if that is our response to all of this, but can we choose to do without all of the above? And lots of that is taxpayer subsidized or funded, so that is going to mean further cutting services or raising taxes. It’s complex and it is going to cost everybody more, but it is not possible to survive on minimum wage. Will the increased disposable income somehow compensate for the increased expenses for all of us?

    Comment by DD — 10:15 am February 21, 2014 #

  19. I’m sorry, but I make $15 an hour working as an executive assistant for 15 years. I hold a BA and a vocational degree. Labor should keep pace with education and experience. If they raise those salaries, I should make $20 an hour.

    Comment by T — 11:20 am February 21, 2014 #

  20. The problem is that entry level positions are not supposed to be career level jobs.
    .
    This idea is not just fast food, it is all of Seattle jobs. Good luck attracting and keeping employers within the city limits.

    Comment by dsa — 12:20 pm February 21, 2014 #

  21. Ummm…. T. If you only make $15 an hour after 15 years there may be something wrong with your skill set or chosen profession. Do you not think that if the minimum wage were to increase your salary would too? More people with more money buy more. Pretty simple economics. And T.. You should absolutely be paid more than $15 an hour. I’m pretty sure your bosses are getting their pay raises and bonuses. Why should it be ok for the “average” worker to make peanuts and support the economy whilst the ” fat cats” keep getting fatter on our hard work?

    Comment by Odin — 12:46 pm February 21, 2014 #

  22. Ummm DSA… Good luck attracting employers to Seattle??? Amazon and other tech companies are flooding the area with jobs. Have you not seen the average home price and or rental cost in Seattle? In some areas it’s higher than San Francisco. I think our local economy can support a higher minimum wage, don’t you?

    Comment by Odin — 12:54 pm February 21, 2014 #

  23. There are jobs here now Odin, just wait and see how it goes.
    .
    The fast food clerks, especially those places where they do not allow changes are not too secure either, I mean really. The food is lying there under lamps. Just move the counter over, install a mechanical money grabber and a gate to release a fresh burger. The lonely fry cook can say they make 15 an hour.

    Comment by dsa — 1:29 pm February 21, 2014 #

  24. Unexpected yet welcome editorializing, WSB at 9:31 Feb 20,…

    While I welcome the more worldly of the commenters here to tell me How The World Works; I’ve always found that intelligent people can disagree over complex issues. I tend to suspect the judgment of those who cannot see more than one valid point of view.

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/02/21/a-1010-federal-minimum-wage-would-raise-walmart-prices-by-a-penny-per-16-item

    Comment by JAT — 1:55 pm February 21, 2014 #

  25. When did small businesses become “fat cats” that’s just insane. This isn’t all about Walmart and mcdonalds.

    Comment by Work smarter not harder — 5:20 pm February 21, 2014 #

  26. There’s a reason entry level jobs pay very little. BECAUSE THEY ARE ENTRY LEVEL. You gain experience and you take that experience and move up to something bigger. Privates don’t lead armies. They dig ditches and do grunt work. Gradually they do less and less of the grunt work and start leading others. That’s kinda how it works. Don’t like your pay? Get a BETTER job. I’m not talking down to anyone who works at fast food establishment or similar employment. I sympathize. But I never once aspired to work in a fast food establishment much less retire at one. Pay raise..? Yes. Our region is horribly expensive to live in. $15..? That’s just naive and silly.

    Comment by Long Camper — 5:33 pm February 21, 2014 #

  27. The bottom line is that a 15 dollar minimum wage will hurt small local businesses and the people who are employed by small businesses. An increase to 11 or 12 would be on the higher end of what is fair. People should be compensated based upon their individual merit. Please take your socialism elsewhere. Seattle has a thriving economy. Let’s not screw this up. If we as a society really want to help the working poor I’d much rather support a tuition assistance program or some other way that provides a ladder up for people with a drive to succeed. We should not have a mandate to hand out cash for free just because some people feel they are Entitled to it. My first job was at Burger King and I’ve since worked hard and schooled my way up to a modest technical career that provides a middle class income for me and my family. I did that on my own. I saw other people do it before me and told myself “if they can do it, I can do it.” Now I say “if I can do it, you can do it.” It’s not easy but worth it in the long run.

    Comment by Wild One — 2:10 am February 22, 2014 #

  28. Let me know where & when I can buy my first twenty dollar plain cheesburger okay? Can’t wait!

    Comment by Seahawks Momma — 9:23 am February 22, 2014 #

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