Employees of fast food restaurants in seven cities take to the streets in front of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and KFC to protest for a living wage, Monday, July 29, 2013.
*Fast food jobs are fast becoming a hot commodity as the job market narrows their qualifications with standards that include more experience, education, and a high credit score.
But, the fast food industry still doesn’t provide an opportunity for anyone who wants to feed their family.
Monday, protesters took to the streets in front of major fast food chains including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, and Taco Bell, in an effort to bring attention to the wages that do not meet the demand of the new fast food employee. Workers in Detroit, Flint, St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, New York City, are all seeking to have their wages raised and prevent abusive labor practices that the restaurants have taken advantage of for years.
*Once when I was in high school a friend and I cut class together. We were smart enough to create a fake doctor’s note for the teacher, but we walked around the neighborhood where everybody knew us, knew we should have been in school and – unfortunately for me – knew my mother’s phone number. That was dumb. I’m not sure how many calls she received that day, but it only took one.
I was her only child. So my mother – a single parent – kept close tabs on me. Even though we’re only twenty years apart in age and I’ve stood taller than her since I was 11, she never pretended to be my friend. And to this day I can count on her to be the voice of reason in my life. She tells me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear.
When I got fired from Wendy’s in high school because I forgot to attend an employee meeting, she called the manager and got my job back. And when my car was repossessed when I was in graduate school she called the repo man. Then she called me to say my car was waiting for me to pick it up. If your mother is like my mother her words carry a lot of weight.
Fast forward to last July: I had a written agreement with a business associate to do some work for me. And I paid him in full upfront. The work was to be completed in stages, but the final project was due no later than Oct. 31st, just last week. I was dissatisfied with the first draft and I told him so. He didn’t like my feedback, but business is business. Maybe if I got more involved instead of just letting it unfold I would be happier with the final project, I concluded. But the business associate didn’t see it that way. He didn’t like my “hands on involvement” and he told me so.
You never know what a person is capable of, especially when they know they’ve got the upper hand. A simple business agreement had turned into a personality conflict. Now my irreplaceable information I gave him to complete the project was in jeopardy. For nearly three weeks there was no word from him. The last thing he told me in early October was the project would be completed on his schedule – not mine even though I was the paying customer. Did that mean I would receive the final project next week, next month or not at all? Only he knew his intentions, but he wasn’t telling me.
My Halloween deadline came and went with no word from him. That’s when it hit me. I wrote a letter to the one person I hoped had his ear and was his voice of reason. Yes, I contacted his mother; I played the mother card. He didn’t like it. But I can live with that. Within 24 hours I received my finished project. If momma can’t reason with you nobody can.
Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas metro area. View the video version of her columns at youtube.com/steffanierivers. For comments, questions or to book speaking engagements email her at email@example.com.
*AFA Foods, a ground beef processor owned by Los Angeles private equity firm Yucaipa Cos. and Magic Johnson filed a bankruptcy petition seeking protection from creditors, blaming, in part, bad publicity over products containing so-called pink slime.
The companysaid it sought bankruptcy protection because it was “faced with an immediate and unanticipated liquidity crisis” and was unable to pay vendors last week without a loan, which banks refused to provide.
The company, straining with too much capacity and heightened competition, was struggling to post a profit when sales began to fall sharply because of “an unfounded public outcry over the use of boneless lean beef trimmings,” or BLBT, Ron Allen, its interim chief executive, wrote in a court declaration.
According to reports, the seven-facility company is struggling at this point, with stiff competition and the recent outrage over the so-called pink slime produt. It’s anticipated that one of its locations will be closed down, laying off numerous employees.
The company said it supplies beef to major retailers, such as Safeway and Wal-Mart Stores, and fast-food outlets, including Burger King, Jack in the Box, Carl’s Jr. and Wendy’s. In its petition, filed U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, AFA listed assets of $219.6 million and debts of $197.3 million. Last year’s revenue, it said, was $958 million.
Read the full story at the Palm Beach Post.