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Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Brother's Keeper


It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.
Voltaire
It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the masterAyn Rand

Life can be a very cruel affair. especially if you are a 26 year old single mother of two living on minimum wage in Chicago. Ask Nancy Salgado, the ten year McDonald's worker who had the temerity to storm into the McDonalds corporate meeting at the Union Club and ask for a sustainable wage so that she can buy shoes for her children.



I have several thoughts about this incident. The first is how lame the answer was from the CEO, the only thing he could come up with was that he had been there for forty years? He was clearly blindsided by his employee's question and looking like a deer caught in the headlights. Perhaps his retort could have been something more like this:

"I pay you eight bucks an hour because I can. If you don't want the job, I can find a hundred Nancy Salgados to take your place in ten seconds. Sucks to lose, kid. Welcome to America."

The reality is I can understand both positions. Why did Salgado have children with her obvious lack of ability to financially support them? She obviously has limited schooling, her ability to conjugate a verb seriously in question. Is it the responsibility of employers to assure that their minions can actually support themselves? Is she not free to seek another job if she is unhappy with her current situation?

Ms. Salgado may or may not have been arrested for interrupting or trespassing, the story gets a bit murky. I give her major props for having the courage to speak up, in any case. It appears that she is still working for the Golden Arches.

The man that she confronted, Jeff Stratton, is President of McDonalds USA. Jeff takes down about $9.5 million in compensation per year. He reportedly started off as a burger flipper. You would think he could have shown a bit more empathy for his employee.

For more on the topic of executive compensation versus worker pay, read this article from today's Los Angeles Times.



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