Franchisees upset over McDonald’s wage increase

Daily News Article - April 27, 2015


NOTE TO STUDENTS:  Many issues can be controversial.  While you might not feel strongly about a certain topic, others around you might take a strong position on one side or the other.  Learn to logically defend your position, and politely respect your neighbor’s point of view.  And if your neighbor gets argumentative with you, remind each other that both sides need to be tolerant of the other’s point of view.

1. a) How many McDonald’s stores are there in the U.S.?
b) In what percent of McDonald’s stores has corporate raised employee wages?
c) Why haven’t they done so in all McDonald’s stores?

2. a) What is a franchise/franchisee?
b) Why are franchise owners (franchisees) upset with McDonald’s decision?

3. List the fees and other expenses franchise owners must pay McDonald’s Corporation to run their stores.
(para. 8-9)

4. Do you think franchise owners are justified in not wanting to increase employee pay above federal or state minimum wage? Explain your answer.

5. What do you think:
a) Is an entry level job at McDonald’s meant to support a family and/or be a long-term full-time job, or is it a way to gain work experience and responsibility (to help a person move up to a job that requires increased skills and therefore higher pay)?
b) Should both McDonald’s corporate and franchise owners pay higher wages and benefits to employees? Full-time AND part-time? All positions (manager, cashier, etc.)?
c) If franchise owners raise employee wages, and as a result food prices increase, would you still visit McDonald’s as often as you do now?

6. Kwanza Brooks, a former McDonald's manager from Charlotte, North Carolina, said in a statement issued in response to the news of a wage increase in some stores, "This is too little to make a real difference, and covers only a fraction of workers. We're going to keep fighting until we win $15 and union rights for all fast-food workers and our families."
a) Do you agree with Ms. Brooks sentiment? Explain your answer.
b) Do you think $15 an hour is enough to support a family in most cities? Should McDonald’s pay more than $10 or $15 an hour depending on a store’s location? Explain your answer.
c) Ask a parent the same question.

OPTIONAL: Do you or anyone you know work (or worked) at McDonald’s? Does there seem to be a difference in how people who have had experience working at McDonald’s and those who haven’t view this wage issue? Do you think adults and teens view this controversy differently?