Despite all the hoopla, many workers at McDonald’s feel insulted by the restaurant chain’s announced increase in wages $1 above the federal minimum wage, especially since that policy applies only to people working at company-owned restaurants, Forbes reports. That means that for the 90 percent of McDonald’s employees who work at franchise locations, their wages will remain the same.
McDonald’s workers took to the streets across the nation Thursday to protest the slim offering and to demand that their wages rise to $15 per hour from $7.25. They described McDonald’s $1 raise as a P.R. stunt that doesn’t really help a majority of their employees.
“It was clearly, blatantly a P.R. stunt,” Jorel Ware, a 33-year-old worker at a McDonald’s in the Bronx, N.Y., told Gothamist. “Basically, we want $15 and a union—nothing less than that. They make millions of dollars; they can do it. It’s terrible. I pay $200 a week rent; I make $210 a week.”
Jessica Davis, a worker in Chicago, echoed those sentiments Thursday on the Today show, describing how McDonald’s doesn’t take into account the cost of living for a lot of its employees. “It’s not going to help me pay my rent,” Davis said. “It’s not going to help me get off food stamps.”
McDonald’s workers are planning a widespread protest in more than 200 cities on April 15 to demand the $15-per-hour raise as well as union representation, Forbes reports.
McDonald’s released a statement Wednesday acknowledging that the $1 wage raise would affect only 10 percent of employees and describing how the company is looking at more options to help its workers. “We’ll continue to evaluate opportunities that will make a difference for our people,” Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s CEO, said.