Protesters Picket Outside McDonald's on 16th Street Mall for Higher Wages, Unionization

Categories: Booze News

McD1.jpg
Kevin Galaba
Protesters demonstrated in front of McDonald's on the 16th Street Mall Friday.
A decision by the National Labor Review Board last week determined that McDonald's is responsible for employee wages at all of its U.S. restaurants. Previously, the corporation had held that wages were controlled and set by each individually owned restaurant franchise, and therefore the company was not responsible for wage levels. To highlight the NLRB's decision, a dozen protesters gathered Friday in front of the McDonald's on the 16th Street Mall, holding handmade posters and chanting "Fast-food workers feed this town -- get up, get down."

See also: Reader: The Worst Restaurant in America Is Everywhere -- it's McDonald's

Jesus Alaniz, who once wored for the fast-food industry, organized the demonstration to raise awareness of working conditions at all fast-food restaurants, not just McDonald's. "I used to work for McDonald's," he said, "but there were a lot of wage injustices. That's why we're doing this right now."

Alaniz said he hopes the recent NLRB decision will lead to an across-the-board hike in the minimum wage for fast-food employees to $15 an hour; Colorado's minimum wage is currently $8 an hour. "They have enough money to bump it up a little bit," he said, referring to a similar minimum-wage hike in California to $11 per hour. "They're still fighting for more."

Alaniz and his fellow protesters are also seeking the right to form a fast-food employees' union. "People don't get enough hours," he explained. "Sometimes they work twenty hours, and the next week they work thirty hours." Alaniz sees unionization as a way to gain a seat at the bargaining table with fast-food corporations to discuss improving working conditions. In the past, grievances brought to the corporate headquarters were deferred to local, individually run restaurants. "If you go to the corporation," he explained, "the corporation will not deal with that case." The NLRB decision could change that.

But that might not improve conditions at this particular McDonald's.

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Kevin Galaba
While the protesters chanted on the sidewalk just steps from the front door, a busy lunch rush was in full swing inside the McDonald's. Tom Carlson Jr., owner of the restaurant; was there eating with his family; he said he wasn't even aware the protest was taking place.

"I don't have anybody in the restaurant who makes minimum wage, so that's really a non-issue," Carlson said of the demands. "We do a really nice job in our organization with our employees. We provide a very competitive wage. I offer phenomenal benefits.

"I've had employees with me for fifteen, twenty years that really love what they do." Carlson added. "I provide a simple IRA. We provide matching health care, vacation benefits, meal benefits. We do two employee surveys a year where they give us feedback on what they'd like to see improve. It's really a holistic approach.

"We do a real nice job taking care of our employees," he said. "We are not a minimum-wage employer."

In November 2012, fast-food employees went on strike for higher wages in New York City; since then, there have been six similar strikes, which have expanded to 150 cities. Last May, fast-food employees traveled to the McDonald's corporate headquarters in Chicago to protest on the company's campus; more than 100 were arrested and charged with civil disobedience.

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Kevin Galaba
In Denver, Alaniz is part of a loose coalition of labor organizations that plan to continue the march toward their goal of $15 per hour and the right to form a union. "We're doing this just for McDonald's today because of the rule that just passed," Alaniz said, "but we're not just trying to focus on McDonald's. We are trying to highlight what the NLRB decided earlier in the week."

When police ordered the protesters to refrain from blocking the restaurant's front door and to make way for pedestrians on the sidewalk, the demonstrators moved to the median of 16th Street, and eventually disbanded.

Alaniz says the group will conduct another action in about a month.




Location Info

McDonald's

200 16th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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151 comments
Max Padilla
Max Padilla

How can people expect perfection from someone making min. Wage? You should expect your order to be fucked up? If my job could give a shit about me, I could give a shit about my job.

Max Padilla
Max Padilla

How do "they" expect us 2 buy all the shit we don't need when we can't afford it? Every thing go's up but the pay!

Sumibraxis Dei
Sumibraxis Dei

Idiots. They're gonna cost those poor substitute meat-patty-slaves their jobs

joey.depue
joey.depue

McDonalds should NOT be a career choice unless you suck at life. If your life goals include 30 years in fast food then I am sorry, but you are an idiot. The people that should work at mcdonalds do not need to make 15-20 dollars an hour. It should be a temporary gig while something else is being done to advance your life (high school, college, job hunting).

Bobbi Chappell
Bobbi Chappell

Go to college... Then you might be able to make more than minimum wage. There's hundreds of teens out there who can replace you. It's like whipping a dead horse, not going anywhere...

Don Herman
Don Herman

They prepare your food. How much is that worth to you?

Scott M Deppe
Scott M Deppe

You know those jobs are for teens who don't need as much not adults trying to make a living on. Come on wake up people

Garrett Latte Heidel
Garrett Latte Heidel

Think, if everyone lived sustainable lives through sustainable work we would no longer have modern slaves at places like McDonalds, Where not to mention they create food like substances-- We should all be boycotting with them to feed us a real and proper food.

Garrett Latte Heidel
Garrett Latte Heidel

Everyone should make at least $15/hr that works full time to support themselves. Why are people mad about that?

ostrogoth
ostrogoth

The prices for the food will go higher and they won't be able to afford as many workers so the service will end up going down also.

Bad idea, most fast food workers are from foreign lands anyway. They can't speak English and they often get the order wrong.

No reason to reward these immigrants

Becca Doyle
Becca Doyle

I agree that the minimum wage should go up in general, but 15$ an hour is insane. Even 10 an hour would make quite a difference. I have a degree and a certification and work for just over minimum wage. Also, I work in California-when the fuck did minimum wage become 11$? False. And all the people saying, "Get another job"-I essentially agree with you. No? It's not possible to just quit and instantly find a job. But if you're working at McDonalds and persistently searching every day for a new position, you'll get out of there eventually.

Robert Blakk Robb Guerra II
Robert Blakk Robb Guerra II

Get an education and a job that requires actual skill and maybe then they can complain about how much they don't make

Jeff Gorski
Jeff Gorski

maybe they could ask for real food too

Jaun Smith
Jaun Smith

When they got hired on they agreed on getting paid a certain amount of money. So if that's what they willingly agreed on, they need to get their ass back to work before they have no job.

Wayne Flack
Wayne Flack

If you can't afford to pay your employees a living wage, you can't afford to be in business. As a tax payor, I'm tired of subsidizing McDonald's payroll via various social welfare programs that McDonalds "employees" have to use to live on...

Wayne Flack
Wayne Flack

No one who works full time should live below the poverty line...no matter what all the spoiled little cake-eaters commenting here say.

Tim Williamson
Tim Williamson

Obviously you don't know shit about economics and wage elasticity.

Todd Elsen
Todd Elsen

Aren't we all looking for higher wages.

John Rinier
John Rinier

People want something for nothing more than ever before, we better watch out or we'll be a 2nd or 3rd world country soon.

John Rinier
John Rinier

uhh, don't work at mcdonalds if you want more money, duh!

Joe Shepherd
Joe Shepherd

why bother , shit for food doesn't pay anymore than shit wages

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

no adult should pursue a career as cash register jockey.

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

if they would only channel that energy into getting a better job. oh, that's right... instead of getting skills for a better job... they are standing around holding signs. these people are morons.

Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis

Keep it up, you will be replaced with an iPad.

Jaci Davis
Jaci Davis

If rent wasnt $1000 oer 1 bdroom apt we wouldnt need said raise... economy sucks in denver. .. stupid prices for living mskes a need for stupid minimum wage....

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

Mcdonalds and wal mart employees that aren't management will never get more than the max hours to be considered part time. Your argument is invalid.

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

I'm sure the CEO has an education worthy of his pay.

Sarah LeVesque
Sarah LeVesque

They do put up with those hobos. Just because it's minimum wage doesn't mean you should put them down. And some ofthem probably are Going to school. Cut them some slack Jeez

Ric Boetel
Ric Boetel

maybe protest the so called beef........first.

David Tatham
David Tatham

You work at McDonald's it's not supposed to a career to feed your family

Lauren Rosie D Neale
Lauren Rosie D Neale

I love how some people think because someone is uneducated they deserve to live in poverty. SOMEONE has to do these jobs that require no education. Also paying your employees more results in less turn over, more productivity, and generally healthier and happier employees. By not raising the minimum wage we are enabling the CEOs of companies to continue to take an unfair share of the profits. Everyone is bitching about the disappearing middle class and the bad economy... well it's not gonna get better until the American people can make decent livings. They aren't asking for an unfair cut of the profits, they just want to be able to make a decent wage and not struggle to live.

Jeremy Wetzel
Jeremy Wetzel

I just read an article a few weeks ago saying that burger king and other fast food joints may be leaving all the U.S military bases, because Obama is raising the minimum wage for government employees & also contractors employees. This'll include burger king employees & others. They did a cost analysis which proved $10.10 per hour would not be possible while staying in business AND being affordable. You also have to remember mcdonalds, burger king & others are mostly privately held franchises, not all corporate like, for example, Walmart.

Mary Jane Green
Mary Jane Green

Wait what??? I should read the article before commenting about it. That crazy talk!

Mary Jane Green
Mary Jane Green

I agree that the CEO is taking more than his share but if he wasn't paid for a year and divided that up to all the employees they might get 1 cent, each, for the whole year.

Chelly Serna
Chelly Serna

Hmm... work a min wage job where you have no debt or go to school to get a better paying job while it takes you years to pay off thousands of dollars of school loans? It's a hard choice to make. One that really has no winners. This country really loves to create situations where it's citizens only have shitty choices to choose from.

Mary Jane Green
Mary Jane Green

99% of employees that are on government assistance would work less if they made more so they could stay on assistance. I have needed assistance in the past so I have seen these people first hand. While many like myself are eager to get off government help we only represent a small small percent.

Rob Nakai
Rob Nakai

Ha HAAAAA! Yeah, I work at McDonald's. I mean why would anyone stick up for people who have it rough if they don't have a vested interest. Oh, I know decent people.

Mary Jane Green
Mary Jane Green

ROB your attitude is exactly why you are still working at McD's and still getting my order WRONG!

Rob Nakai
Rob Nakai

Says the guy who made absolutely no argument at all, just petty little insults.

Mary Jane Green
Mary Jane Green

Maybe if you put as much effort into finding a better job as you do picketing your current one you might make more money?

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