Friday, October 18, 2013

52% of Fast-food Employees Rely on Food Stamps

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.


  1. Check out the website:


  2. Walt Disney Co. is offering full-time employment to the 427 part-timers at Disney World who work at least 30 hours a week — giving them guaranteed health benefits as part of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). While other companies like Papa John’s and Forever 21 are cutting hours and slashing benefits, Disney’s move puts workers rights first. The more companies that use the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to expand worker hours and increase benefits, the less others can get away with cheating employees — and the less critics can claim Obamacare creates a part-time economy or discourages hiring.

  3. CNN - October 15, 2013 - Half of fast food workers need public aid