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"Instead of tying the minimum wage to state law, let us tie that wage to corporate profits."


minimum wage is poverty

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Fast-food workers rally," Business, Aug. 30

Bravo to the fast-food workers who are at long last demanding a decent standard of living.

It is important for all of us to understand the reality that their jobs are no longer the province of high school kids who want more purchasing power than they get from their allowances. More and more of these jobs go to adults who in an earlier generation had jobs that paid well and provided benefits — jobs that are no more.

Let me make a modest proposal: Instead of tying the minimum wage to state law, let us tie that wage to corporate profits. In this way, companies such as McDonald's will no longer be able to get away with what in many respects is indentured servitude.

Joan Walston

Santa Monica


By all means, give those fast-food workers their $15 an hour and force those greedy employers to provide health insurance. The results will be very good for our country.

Imagine a United States where greasy food eclipses healthy food in price, where even those employed to flip a burger earn a living wage. Imagine further the billions in healthcare savings and the economic boost when millions of employees suddenly have greater purchasing power.

Of course, the fast-food industry would probably be doomed; fast-food employees would become health-food employees. Healthcare professionals would wonder how they might sustain the ponderous girth of their profit margins without that reliable hoard of fat, sick and diabetic patients.

Michael E. White



Labor attorney Brent Giddens, who was quoted in the article, spouts tired warnings. He says paying fast-food workers $15 an hour would send jobs out of the country.

How does one send the job of a cook at the local burger joint out of the country? Do we need burgers so badly that we'll drive to Mexico just to get one?

I guess if we really want to keep wages down, we could support the current method of importing undocumented, noncitizen workers who are afraid to speak up for fear of being deported. Fill the country with the victims of this policy and let them toil at artificially low wages while hiding from the government that might deport them.

That way we can keep all wages low.

Richard Kelley

West Hills


VIDEO: Black customers denied service at So. Carolina cafe because customer felt "threatened"


cafe fb page black customer
post racial world


The South Carolina's restaurant's shift manager called this a "situation." Here's another word for it: Racism.

Michael Brown was celebrating his cousin's last day in Charleston at Wild Wing Cafe in North Charleston. But after waiting and waiting and waiting to be seated-- for two hours-- he and his party of 25 were very unpleasantly surprised. The shift manager told them there was a "situation."

That "situation" consisted of one customer who said she felt "threatened" by the party of 25, so the "threatened" customer asked that the party of 25, who just happened to be black, be seated in a different section. The 25 "threatening" black people had been there for hours, so why hadn't they already been kicked out if they were so evil and scary?

Answer: Because they weren't evil and scary. They were peacefully hanging out until a table was ready. Via WNEM:

Brown says while he was talking to the shift manager, someone in his group began videotaping the conversation. Brown says that's when the manager became upset and refused to seat them.

"I asked her I want to be clear with you," says Brown. "I said so you're telling me I have to leave. She said I have a right to deny you service. I said so you're asking me to leave because you're upset because he was recording you, after we've waited for two hours, and after you've already pretty much discriminated on us, and she answered yes."

Look how evil and scary they are:

restaurant kicks out black customersMichael Brown and his friends, via Facebook

Brown called the corporate office to complain, but even after several weeks, he got no response, so he wrote this on Facebook:

I will never go to Wild wings cafe in N. Chs again! We (Party of 25 family and friends) waited 2hrs, patiently and were refused service because another customer (White) felt threatened by us. This type of racial discrimination is unacceptable and we have to put a STOP TO IT. The manager looked me dead in the face and said she was refusing us service because she had a right to and simply she felt like it. DO NOT SUPPORT THIS ESTABLISHMENT... PLEASE SHARE THIS POST... We need your help.

Guess who saw that and suddenly paid attention... Yep, the chief marketing officer for Wild Wing Cafe. But hey, at least he was offered an apology... and a free meal!

"We weren't coming there for a free meal. When we came there that night, we were coming to patronize the business. This is not a situation where you can just give us a free meal and everything is okay because it's deeper than that."

Yes, it's much deeper than that. There's your "post-racial" America, folks. The long civil rights movement: “Everything has changed. Nothing has changed.”

By the way, on the Cafe Facebook page, you'll find this statement and a whole lot of angry ex- and not-future-customers:

In light of recent discussions, we would like to make clear that Wild Wing Cafe welcomes and caters to customers of every background, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or age. We are proud to be a place where people from all walks of life can meet, relax and have a good time. Our corporate policy and ethics won't stand for anything otherwise. We have been in contact with the person who has made us aware his experience was less than satisfactory, and are continuing to speak with him to reach a solution.

Update: With regard to the ongoing discussion about a customer complaint, we at Wild Wing Cafe are completely aware of the fact that we dropped the ball in communicating swiftly to a loyal customer. We take full responsibility for our lapse in response time, had the opportunity to call back and have no excuses for not doing so in 3 weeks.

However, we have never tolerated racism from our employees and won't tolerate it on our Page either. Our biggest concern has always been our customers and our staff. We have always insisted on hearing all sides to an issue and treating people with respect... and this time is no different.

H/t: @Anomaly100 at FreakOutNation


Evening Video Distraction- Flying Sushi



VIDEO: "Dignity... That was the message of the signs [the restaurant workers] carried: I am a man, I am a woman."


strike restaurant workers i am a man woman

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Yesterday's Doonesbury: “Lack of paid sick days for workers causes what? Rich owners.” #FastFoodFwd nailed it.

So did Chris Hayes:

All successful social movements are built and all social progress is built out of multitude of tiny miracles just like we saw in New York City.

A single person... a union of thousands or millions who decide against the odds against great risk with no protection to do something courageous, to speak up for their dignity, to proclaim themselves fully human and that was what the fast food workers did today. That was the message of the signs they carried: I am a man, I am a woman.

And this sign  should ring a bell, because it's a sign we have seen at a major labor strike before. At this labor strike, in the city of Memphis in 1968, these sanitation workers were being paid so little that many of them, even working full time, needed welfare just to feed their families.

Their jobs were not just astonishingly low wage, they were also incredibly dangerous. The strike  got started after two workers were killed, crushed in a sanitation truck's compactor.

Supporting that strike is what Martin Luther King Jr. was doing in Memphis in 1968 when he was assassinated 45 years ago today. He was there to support those sanitation workers in their strike and in their struggle.

This coverage made me tear up. To see people standing up for their rights, risking their jobs, organizing, demanding to be treated with dignity, to be treated as human beings...

Such a minimal request, such a fundamental demand should never have to be made. Treating people equally and with respect is what this country should be all about. And nobody should have to beg for that.

martin luther king we are people strike workers