After 20 years cooking burgers and manning the fryer for the national chain, Tyree Johnson still makes just the minimum wage, Bloomberg reports. That's $8.25 an hour in 44-year-old Johnson's hometown of Chicago, where he works at two different McDonald's restaurants.
The CEO of McDonald's, Bloomberg points out, made $8.75 million last year.
Also Read: A McDonald’s Employee Must Work One Million Hours To Make As Much As The Company’s CEO
In an emailed statement, a McDonald's spokesperson pointed out that the majority of the company's restaurants are independently owned. "We value our employees’ well-being and the contributions they make to our restaurants, and thank them for what they do each and every day," wrote Cheryll Ocampo Forsatz.
Johnson is not alone. Other fast-food and retail companies offer fairly low wages. Walmart caps annual raises at 60 cents per hour at most, according to internal documents reviewed by The Huffington Post. Walmart also keeps many of its hourly employees part-time so that it does not have to give them an array of benefits.
Restaurant jobs have been booming, and the service economy more broadly is growing, but these jobs do not pay well. Food service workers were paid an average of just $18,130 in 2010, and retail sales jobs on average paid $20,990 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Underemployment still is rampant. 14.4 percent of American workers were unemployed, marginally attached to the workforce, or working part-time despite wanting to work full-time in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Low wages are hurting the economy, as consumer spending comprises roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy. A November study by Demos found that raising retail workers' wages to $25,000 per year would lift 734,075 people out of poverty and create 100,000 to 132,000 new jobs.
You can check out photos of Johnson below:
McDonald's Employee Struggles To Get ByTyree Johnson, a 20-year McDonald's employee making minimum wage, crosses a street on his way to work in Chicago, Ill., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. The pay gap separating fast-food workers from their chief executive officers is growing at each of those companies. The disparity has doubled at McDonald's Corp. in the last 10 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (Daniel Acker, Bloomberg / Getty Images)
Timsomor Comment 12/13/2012:
Some people commented that it's this man's fault for settling for minimum wage. But, if you like your job and do it well, and your liked by the managers and your fellow workers, which are the standards today which most people are really keeping their jobs anyway, specially if you are a minority which you can honestly say the bases for that argument is fact, why shouldn't you receive some pay increases. I did not include, promotions, cause in today world they are used to only calm an employee who has become self aware of what the deal really is with their employers. You can even do some research and find managers who make the same as the people working under them. Never receiving any of the financial gains of others who also share their title receives.
To still be a person harping about how bad unions are, and you are black, you have lost touch with reality. If this guy would stand alone and ask for a pay raise, he would end up fired and labeled as a trouble maker. Without Unions the employers of today can simply says, "We will get another."
In the end, regardless of how much you like your job, or how hard you work (Remember when that meant something) you are always replaceable and a none issue to your employer when you stand alone!
All I can think about is the Calvin Ads Of 90's:
Is Tyree Johnson what would have really happened to Calvin? Dave Chapelle, did something on this too, but if you are without a job and people are making it hard for you to get one, this is no laughing matter! In reality people are still probably laughing at this man when they don't realize they are being setup to follow in his footsteps. Yup, even by filling our heads with the dreams of "Calvin" then, laws were being put in place for today, and the reality Mr. Johnson and others are living in today! Hell, I am one of them.
"McDonald's just doesn't value his experience because they can always find someone else to work for next to nothing. Right to work at play."