Because fast-food employers refuse to pay a living wage, the cost of basic healthcare and basic needs are transferred to taxpayers in the form of public assistance. Tell the nation's nine largest fast-food chains: Pay your workers $15 an hour so they can make ends meet and Americans can stop paying the hidden costs of poverty wages.
Here is a petition to McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino's, Subway, and Papa John's:
A whopping 52% of fast-food employees’ families are forced to rely on public assistance to put food on the table or see a doctor because you pay them poverty wages. That means Americans are picking up the check with nearly $7 billion in tax dollars a year – while the fast-food industry reaps billions in profits. It’s outrageous and it has to stop. It’s time to pay your workers $15 an hour so they can make ends meet and Americans can stop paying the hidden costs of poverty wages.
In order to get by, 52% of fast-food employees' families are forced to rely on programs like food stamps or Medicaid. That means that for every meal purchased at a fast-food restaurant, Americans end up paying twice --- once for the meal itself and again as they're forced to cover the costs of healthcare and other basic needs for workers because these multibillion-dollar corporations fail to pay a living wage.
A recent report from the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center estimated this latter cost at nearly $7 billion per year.
At a time when seven out of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. occupations pay less than the national median wage, more and more Americans are forced to rely on the social safety net. The average fast-food worker is now over 28 years old, meaning many support families with a combination of low fast-food wages and public assistance.
It's time to hold fast-food CEOs accountable for a deliberately flawed business model that hurts both workers and taxpayers. Let's call "entitlements" what they really are --- "wage subsidies" --- that companies like fast-food businesses and retailers like Walmart benefit the most.