“Low Pay Is Not Ok”

After watching the documentary “Ten Dollars an Hour,” I felt overwhelmingly disgusted by our world today. No one should have to work so hard for so little money! I am a server who makes $2.13 an hour, plus tips; most people either aren’t educated about this or they just don’t care. I definitely understood the customer service aspects of work that we discussed in class. We always have to act like “happy slaves” who are respectable and love to please. I could not imagine if I had to live off of the money I make $2.13 an hour plus tips for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, many American’s are in situations where they are living off of these types of wages. What disappointed me most about the film was the fact that the “House Mom” (who only gave her family “recipes” and ordered the food) got paid $30,000 a year PLUS she has free living space, no bills, has INSURANCE AND BENEFITS, and gets reimbursement for gas for her truck. WHAT??? And don’t forget, the House Mom is also in charge of hiring and firing. If she thought you had a bad attitude, you were gone! While the House Mom is “busy” doing her “work,” Leasse is literally slaving away for long hours in the kitchen. Then House Mom sits around and eats what Leasse cooks! Leasse’s annual income was only $18,000 a year.  I was absolutely appalled. After working for years, Leasse didn’t even get offered insurance or benefits, which the House Mom already had. In order to give the 4 full time kitchen staff members annual health insurance, it would cost $4,000 a year ($2,400 for Leasse). The House Corporation for the fraternity takes in $700,000 a year. Why would they not give their employees the benefits they deserve? It would not hurt them at all! This documentary opened my eyes to the fact that this is happening more than most of us know.

The short clip we watched in class about Nancy, the woman working at McDonald’s, was also an eye-opener. The “help-line” told her to apply for federal programs such as food stamps and Medicaid. After seeing the video, I signed the petition at LowPayIsNotOk.org. Their website states that McDonald’s makes $5.5 billion in profits and that more than half of fast-food employees’ families are on public assistance and cost taxpayers $7 billion year! Corporations like this do not care about their employees; they are only worried about what profit they will make! They are constantly moving to where they can find the cheapest labor so that they can receive the largest profit. Most workers are unable to demand benefits, raises, and better working conditions because they cannot afford to be let go. I have read many comments under articles about the McDonald’s helpline video and most people who disagree with fast-food workers getting paid more use the excuse that they “are lazy and need to work hard to get somewhere.” In my opinion, if they are barely surviving from their wages and have to use federal aid programs, how are they supposed to move ahead in life and find a better job or become more qualified by getting more education? Education costs money that these people do not have! I can see how many of them feel stuck and hopeless. If corporations like McDonald’s and the House Corporation for the Sigma Nu Fraternity would give their employees a chance, they could possibly make a huge difference in the world as well has have better lives for their families. AND not to mention the $7 billion dollars we are paying for them to be on government aid would significantly drop. The only downside is that the corporations wouldn’t be making as much money as they are now. Boo hoo.

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