Food Workers of the World, Unite and Take Over!!

4 04 2013

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This:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/04/fast-food-strikes-new-york-city_n_3009780.html makes me so happy to see happening. When I worked in fast food, I talked often about how much of a catalyst for change it would be for fast food workers to strike. There are a great deal of misperceptions about the world of a fast food worker, and until you’ve experienced it- you just may never fully comprehend. Fast food workers are treated like disposable slaves. The job is very high stress, you have expectations as an individual by most corporations that are unobtainable without robots, and there is little to no strong work ethic in lower or upper management, which bleeds into the staff. The next time you see a disgruntled fast food worker, before you judge them or get angry, think about this: Most “full time” fast food workers have a hard time getting scheduled for more than 25 hours, there is a timer above the door of every drive thru window, it goes red after 90 seconds. The timer starts counting down as soon as you drive up to the order window. Once that timer is flashing red (after 90 seconds) there are points deducted on reports that go to the corporate office. 90 seconds from driving up to the window to driving off with your food is consistently nearly impossible to deliver, especially when you consider that most of the time your cashier is only putting your order into the computer and taking your money, the people on the food line most often have anywhere from 8 to 20 orders to complete within these 90 second guide lines. There’s an angry manager when this happens, typically yelling and projecting to everyone, often a member of upper management supervising who is also scrutinizing and occasionally an angry customer who is already stressed out from the traffic they just sat in. I’ve had some really rude customers before when the whole assembly line of product is slower than the 90 second time limit, people lose sight of the fact that you are in fact, a genuine human being struggling to make a living on slave labor. Also, with no health benefits provided- most food industry employees cannot afford (on their minimum wage) to visit a doctor when ill, and it’s not easy for non pregnant adults to get on government insurance. Being around both food and lots of people for several hours a day exposes you to potential pathogens, and it is actually very common for fast food workers to get viruses. However, it is nearly impossible to call in sick, as a fast food worker, without the fear (and potential reality) of losing your job. Which leaves many sick workers working, preparing your food, and handling your money. If there was a greater respect for food workers in this country and their jobs were protected, perhaps we would see a tremendous change in many social arenas?

side note:

just read the CNN money article http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/04/news/companies/fast-food-new-york-strike/ and had to leave the page, there was so much negativity in the comments. It amazes me the way people talk about food industry workers, nearly everyone I have ever met in food service is working towards something more sustainable for themselves, are very intelligent as well as very aware of the state of things socially, economically as well as politically. I made my mark in the comments section, but I am not finished with this. I’m as passionate about this as I am many other things, and I want to do something. I need to do something.

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