The Minimum Wage Debate: McDonald’s Employees in Arizona
In the United States, the minimum wage debate has been raging for decades. Advocates of minimum wage increases argue that employees deserve a living wage, while opponents argue that minimum wage hikes would have a negative impact on businesses, leading to job loss and higher prices.
The Plight of Fast-Food Workers at McDonald’s
McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food chain, is at the center of this debate. According to a report released by the National Employment Law Project in 2013, the average fast-food worker earns a meager $8.69 per hour. This means that many workers in the industry cannot support themselves or provide for their families on their current wages.
In Arizona, McDonald’s employees are no exception. According to career website Glassdoor, the average hourly wage for a McDonald’s employee in Arizona ranges from $7 to $12. In 2017, Arizona’s minimum wage was $10 per hour.
Understanding McDonald’s Pay Structure
However, understanding how McDonald’s employees are paid requires an understanding of the chain’s pay structure. McDonald’s uses a tiered system to determine employee pay, with employees being placed in one of four tiers based on their experience level and job performance.
- Tier 1: Crew members – These are entry-level employees who are responsible for tasks such as taking orders, cooking food, and serving food to customers. These employees are often paid minimum wage.
- Tier 2: Shift managers – These employees are responsible for overseeing crew members and ensuring that restaurants operate smoothly. Shift managers typically earn hourly wages above minimum wage.
- Tier 3: Department managers – Department managers oversee areas such as human resources, training, and marketing. These employees earn salaries and often hold college degrees.
- Tier 4: Restaurant managers – Restaurant managers are responsible for managing the entire restaurant, including overseeing finances, staffing, and operations. These employees earn a salary and often have extensive management experience.
McDonald’s also offers employees benefits such as health insurance, 401k plans, and paid time off, depending on their tier and length of employment.
The Struggle to Make Ends Meet
Despite the tiered pay structure, many McDonald’s employees in Arizona struggle to make ends meet. The cost of living in the state is higher than the national average, and many fast-food workers are unable to afford basic necessities such as food and housing.
Advocates for minimum wage hikes argue that raising the minimum wage would help lift workers out of poverty and stimulate the economy. Opponents argue that raising wages would make it more expensive for businesses to hire workers and could lead to job loss or higher prices for consumers.
Competitive Pay as a Solution
One potential solution to the minimum wage debate is the concept of competitive pay. Instead of mandating a minimum wage, businesses could pay employees based on the skills and experience they bring to the job. This approach would incentivize workers to improve their skills and education, leading to higher wages and better job opportunities.
However, competitive pay may also lead to wage discrimination and inequality, as some workers may be valued more highly than others based on factors such as their gender, race, or socioeconomic background.
Overall, the minimum wage debate is complex and multifaceted. While McDonald’s tiered pay structure provides some employees with higher wages and benefits, many workers still struggle to make ends meet in Arizona and across the country. As the debate over minimum wage and competitive pay continues, it is important to consider the needs and well-being of all workers in the fast-food industry and beyond.