SOLVE NOW PLS!!!! A living wage for fast-food workers? Clause 3 of Article 23 of the Universal Decla
SOLVE NOW PLS!!!!
A living wage for fast-food workers? Clause 3 of Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that 'Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supple mented, if necessary, by other means of social protection' (United Nations, 2013b). This clause places a responsibility on employers and on national govern- ments it impels employers to pay their workers a living wage and, where this is not possible, it obliges governments to augment wages to a level worthy of human dignity Given the record high levels reached repeatedly by the US stock market during 2013 (Rushe, 2013, 2013b) it seems reasonable to suppose that the government would have little need to augment wages in the USA. Since the commercial perfor mance of American corporations is generally strong, enabling substantial returns on investment for the owners of those corporations, one might expect employees to be well rewarded for their contribution. Given the vibrancy of American business, it seems reasonable to assume that corporate employees would have little trouble sus taining themselves and their families, and that they would have little need for state handouts. It is surprising, therefore, to learn that employees of American fast-food corpora tions, including McDonald's, Wendy's, and KFC, participated in city centre marches and strike action during 2013 to protest about low wages. Many of those workers receive no more than the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which they say is not enough for them and their families to survive on. Many claim that they need to apply for state aid to supplement their meagre earnings in order to live (Gabbatt, 2013; Helmore, 2013). Fast food employees are not alone in their belief that it is not possible to live on the current minimum wage in America. Indeed, American President Barack Obama is among those calling for an increase: Obama has suggested that the minimum wage needs to go up to at least 59 in order to return to the value that it had 30 years ago (Gabbatt, 2013). The campaigning organization Fast Food Forward has been active in organizing protests about low pay. The Fast Food Forward website claims: In America, people who work hard should be able to afford basic necessities like groceries, rent, childcare and transportation. While fast food corporations reap the benefits of record profits, workers are barely getting by- many are forced to be on public assistance despite having a job. (Fast Food Forward, 2013) Questions 1 Which group of stakeholders would you consider to be the owners of fast-food corporations such as McDonald's, Wendy's and KFC? In other words, whose property are these companies? 2 if the campaigning group Fast Food Forward is correct in its account of indus- try profits and employee wages, how might this support Karl Marx's contention that people who work in businesses are exploited so that those who own those businesses can get rich? 3 It could be suggested that if fast-food industry employees are unhappy with their wages, they should go and work somewhere else. Why do you think they do not do this?