McDonald’s is currently being sued in three states, including California, for wage theft. Although each local franchise sets its own wages, complaints allege that company management software instructs restaurants to reduce staffing when the employee-to-sales ratio falls below a certain level, which has led to employees being taken off the clock and told to wait until more customers arrive. On the other hand, there are also complaints that they have been denied their mandated breaks when restaurants were busy.
McDonald’s workers are typically employed less than half-time so that they do not need to be paid benefits, and most technically earn less than $8 per hour. That’s just more than $8,000 a year for someone working the maximum hours.
Is this the kind of employer we want in Los Osos? The 35 jobs that McDonald’s claims it will bring would not pay enough to rent a one-room apartment. Moreover, a fast-food operator is likely to reduce the number of meals eaten in the 25 locally owned Los Osos restaurants, leading to job losses. And since McDonald’s brings in food that is sourced elsewhere, it will not benefit local growers or bakers.
Until McDonald’s can improve its employment practices to provide a living wage and equitable working conditions and thus have a positive effect on the local economy, People of Faith for Justice cannot support a McDonald’s in Los Osos or anywhere else in the county.
-- Rev. Dr. Caroline J. A. Hall - People of Faith for Justice board member, Los Osos