Quit Picking On Burger Flippers!

Canada
November 17, 2015 4:05pm CST
Lately I've seen so many arguments against a hike in minimum wage both in the USA and Canada and somehow they always bring burger flippers at McDonald's into it. Did you know that nobody actually flips burgers at McDonald's anymore? A platen lowers onto the burgers and both sides are cooked at the same time. Not only that, no one is hired to do just that part of the job. Anyone working in a McDonald's kitchen is trained to cook, prepare and package every single cooked item on the menu. Not only that they are trained to clean all the equipment to local health standards. They are trained to stock all the needed goods from the walk in fridge, freezer and stockroom. A few are further trained to service the equipment (run filter cycles and change vat oil, clean shake machines and other very expensive equipment). Most at some point will be assigned duties in the seating area where they clean and interact with customers in prescribed manners. This whole burger flipper argument does not reflect any existing reality. Burger flippers get paid a higher salary than military personnel. Horrors! Funny they compare apples and oranges and neglect to mention that military personnel on duty don't have to pay for food, housing or transportation. Burger flipping is meant just for kids going through school. They don't need money do they? Post secondary education in Canada and the USA is NOT free. It's very expensive. Some of the hardest working, intelligent young people I know work at McDonald's to help pay for their education. It isn't so that they can have money to get drunk all weekend. It used to be said that people who don't work shouldn't eat. For some people now that isn't enough. Somehow they expect people to work but not have enough to eat. People who don't have enough to eat can't work very hard. This isn't just about burger flippers. Watching a news segment recently on my break at work, I learned that nine per cent of people in Toronto, Canada work full time but don't make enough money to pay their bills without some kind of assistance. Raising the minimum wage is a band-aid solution to that problem. That might not solve anything. There is a solution to this problem because there was a time when no matter who you were you could work hard and have enough in my country. We need some very smart politicians, bankers and business people get together and sort this out. Unfortunately I don't think they want to.
10 people like this
11 responses
@GardenGerty (105498)
• United States
17 Nov 15
I have done fast food work, and many other interesting jobs. As one co-worker/supervisor commented when she was maintaining a gym and warehouse for the school district, it was all the same pay. Whatever job you agree to take, you need to be willing to work hard and do your best. I do not know if there is a solution for the problem. In ancient Rome the people were kept pacified with "bread' (welfare) and circuses (free entertainment) and the Empire eventually was conquered.
6 people like this
• Canada
17 Nov 15
I like to think our civilization hasn't eroded beyond the point of no return. Not because I don't think it's possible but because I don't really want to go through its demise. I like to look at the French Revolution as an example. The rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. There was a solution but the people who could refused and the king just didn't have the power or the guts to make happen. It cost him his head.
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4316)
• Oxford, England
18 Nov 15
Nowadays we have TV and video games to keep us passive!
2 people like this
@PhredWreck (6051)
17 Nov 15
Well if those danged kids would quit flipping their boogers on me I'd...huh? Oh...you said burgers. Sorry...
5 people like this
• Canada
17 Nov 15
As long as the burger flipper doesn't have a cold or the flu you're probably safe.
2 people like this
@Auntylou (4316)
• Oxford, England
18 Nov 15
You again, funny man!
2 people like this
@antonbunot (10052)
• Calgary, Alberta
18 Nov 15
I think my idol - Donald Trump - does not want the minimum wage in the USA be raised to 15 bucks . . for there will be more Mexican illegals to crawl to the USA.
3 people like this
@Auntylou (4316)
• Oxford, England
18 Nov 15
I doubt very much if illegal workers get paid the minimum wage at all, they are much more likely to be exploited and paid peanuts
2 people like this
@antonbunot (10052)
• Calgary, Alberta
18 Nov 15
@Auntylou But at least the peanuts now will also grow a bit . .
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4316)
• Oxford, England
18 Nov 15
Great post! McDonalds actually encourage their workers to progress after starting everyone at the bottom. In the UK we have not had minimum wages for very long and the under 25s do not qualify for that rate. Yet many will be supporting themselves and students here now have to pay £9000 per year just for tuition fees, let alone their living expenses. I am glad I am not needing a job or just starting out today.
3 people like this
• Canada
18 Nov 15
They are a good place to work for someone just starting out. They can open the door to something better.
2 people like this
@Lucky15 (33669)
• Philippines
17 Nov 15
sounds like burger flippers have become a basis.
2 people like this
• Canada
17 Nov 15
I think they've become a lightning rod for those who are opposed to a minimum wage increase.
@WorDazza (10089)
• Manchester, England
18 Nov 15
To some extent we are all responsible for poor wages. We want it all and we want it as cheap as possible. Paying a premium for a quality product or service seems to be a long-forgotten concept. This race to the bottom, in terms of costs, has been responsible for situations like the horse-meat scandal in the UK where the quest for cheaper and cheaper beef led to horse meat (sourced from who knows where!!) ending up in the nations value range burgers. I'm just glad I don't eat meat. It's not that it was horse meat in there, it's the fact nobody knew where it had come from, how it was raised, slaughtered etc.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Nov 15
You make a great point. I worked in a rocking chair factory in Quebec as a shaper operator. There was an effort to turn all the labour jobs in the place into jobs that any fool could do with minimal training and of course lower labour costs. My job required a great deal of skill and physical strength. Now they hire anyone off the street to do the job and pay them just above the minimum. They don't really care if they can do the job well or whether they get hurt anymore. As a company we did well. We beat the competition. But the whole industry is hurting in the sense that there are few skills positions available.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (10089)
• Manchester, England
18 Nov 15
@koopharper Even in my industry (software development) the same is happening. There are software factories in Asia who employ a handful of skilled people, who get to liaise with their customers, and the rest are basically code monkeys who have no analytical skills and need to be more or less told what lines of code to write. They're cheap though, so the corporate bean counters are happy. The rest of us end up having to specify work for them to such a massively detailed level we might as well have just done it ourselves in the first place, then we have to fix it when they screw up!!
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (10089)
• Manchester, England
18 Nov 15
@koopharper That's because most managers can't think so they're terrified of people who can!!
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (29043)
• United States
18 Nov 15
Considering every time I go to a fast food place, which isn't very often anymore, they always mess up my very simple order, I find it hard to believe they deserve $15 an hour when there are people who have gone to school and do jobs that endanger their lives that don't even make that much. No, you can't make a living wage off minimum wage. You can't make a living wage doing much of anything these days. My husband and I both work full-time jobs making well above minimum wage each. He still has to work a 2nd job and I'm online here trying to earn a few extra pennies a month as our paychecks are still barely enough to cover all our necessities. Granted we have 5 kids so our necessities are a bit more expensive... our grocery bill alone is larger than that burger flipper's paycheck. Point is, I think a lot of people are in that same boat, and the answer is more education, better education, and more opportunities. What we really need is more jobs so more people are working building a better economy... not fewer people making more money.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Nov 15
We have five kids living at home as well. They are older now and they are starting to contribute to the household. I find this economy is very hard on families.
• United States
18 Nov 15
@koopharper Only my first is old enough to work. He's 18 and will be flying the coop pretty soon. The rest are 13 and under.
1 person likes this
@Pattitude (1298)
• Newton, North Carolina
18 Nov 15
When I worked as a respiratory therapist, it was sad to see all the nurse's aid leave the field. They could make more money at McD's then in the hospital or nursing home. Plus, the job market is so bleak, many degreed people, like MBAs and similar are forced to take any job, even fast food. And seniors sometimes cannot make it on their retirement, so they often go to work there, too.
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Nov 15
This is true. Telling people to get an education to get a better job might not be a solution at all in the current job market environment.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Nov 15
though much about the big burger companies is questionable the basic staff work is hard and demanding and responsible duty and as good as any other work. They deserve better pay and anyone can benefit from improved national minimum wages
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Nov 15
It's demanding enough that a lot of people can't do it.
1 person likes this
@norcal (3211)
• Nevada City, California
17 Nov 15
I agree with you. Burger flippers don't get enough respect. I worked at McDonald's when I was 30 years old. I had been a stay-at-home mom up until then. I wasn't working for extra money, I was working to pay the bills. Fast food workers work very hard under high-pressure conditions. Everyone who comes in wants their food "fast." There were many other adults who were working there to cover their obligations, most of them worked there as a second job.
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Nov 15
I work at McDonald's now and it does bug me that people assume I'm somehow stupid lazy or both. I have a university degree (BA), I'm a published author (not self-published) and have 14 years experience as an industrial woodworker. I'm a shaper specialist which used to pay as much as 30 dollars per hour. Now they'll pay me a little above minimum wage doing that and I have to drive or move to another city where I can't afford to live anyway. If I can get far enough ahead of the bills and create the necessary work space I intend to go into business for myself. I'm really not that much different from the best people I work with. Just older.
3 people like this
• United States
17 Nov 15
Well the local McDonalds (there is two of them in our neighborhood) actually have a grill person flipping the burgers, it is not automated BUT an easy position such as that and entirely that, is NOT worth $15.oo nor a substantial hike from what they earn now. After a college education in Hospitality management and maybe they can talk a salaried position or a higher wage per hour . . . but without even high school completed, they demand higher wages, forget it !
@norcal (3211)
• Nevada City, California
17 Nov 15
When I worked at McDonald's, I flipped burgers. Everybody mostly did every job there. But I would say that working the grill was not an easy job. It was very high production. You try making 24 hamburgers every 5 minutes.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Nov 15
I started out in a kitchen having to prepare for a restaurant of nearly 100 a day for lunch and dinner, expanded my horizons to get out of the kitchen and in as waitressing (no better money but instead of being hot, tired and sweaty from working near stoves and ovens, I was just stressed, after which I continued climbing up that hospitality management going to college while working in catering and learning the ropes for managing-- now seven years after graduating from 2nd university with a masters in Psychology, I found catering only to be a fun second job and never would go back to waitressing or earning minimum wage again. I don't want you to think I don't know how difficult it is, it is very challenging 50 burgers at a time for 100 people or reuben sandwiches or salads etc-- yeah it stinks to high heaven as far as getting good pay but it is fast food and standards are as standards go. No high school diploma required, no fair wage either . . . @norcal
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Nov 15
@norcal Working the grill station is not easy especially since it also includes the deep fryer for the chicken in our location. Lunch rush is absolutely crazy. If I have a good kitchen lead keeping me up to date on product levels I can keep up. I don't have time to look myself. I'm just cooking as fast as I can trying not to collide with anyone.
1 person likes this