Archives for posts with tag: Minimum wage

The company claims it wasn’t retaliation. Yeah, right. Most of the Snarf’s Subs employees who got s***-canned were among those who were out advocating for an increased minimum wage a few weeks ago. And in response, they got fired by email, right before Christmas Eve.

Here’s a bit of the email:

1. Due to increased competition and losses, ownership has decided to consider remodeling and reconcepting the store at 600 West Chicago Ave.

2. The store is closing, effective tomorrow, December 23, 2013 for an unknown period of time for this remodeling and reconcepting.

3. All staff is terminated, effective Monday, December 23, 2013.

Notice the words “consider remodeling and reconcepting”. They aren’t even sure they will do anything , or what they would do if they did. Nobody in business axes an entire location with less than 24 hours’ notice and no plan for the future. This is not a normal part of a long-term business plan; this is a bitch-slap to the workers who asked for a raise, and a warning to anyone else who is thinking about making a similar request.

And that is why your job sucks, fellow Americans. Because your employer can do whatever they want to you, whenever they want, and for any reason they dream up. We have no protection, very few rights, and no one to stand up for us.

And even if you don’t get fired, you get to pay via your tax dollars for the few remaining social safety-net items for the workers who DID get fired. The employer pays almost nothing. We pay almost everything.

All of our jobs suck. We have let them suck, by electing politicians who enable the increased suck. We have turned our backs on the unions and other agents who helped to decrease the suck.

And we now must re-fight the battles of old, to decrease the suck once again. Unless we all want our jobs to be Snarfed up.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

That is the deal, Cranky Nation: for years, places like McDonald’s, Walmart and suchlike have been paying such low wages, even their best workers are obliged to use taxpayer-funded services like food stamps, HEAP, and medical cards to keep a roof over their heads. It’s gotten to be so common, even bank workers are frequently on public assistance. Banks. Where the money is. Even they won’t pay their people a living wage.

That means, in short, these businesses are making we, the taxpayers, pay their bills, while they pad their bank accounts. Your tax dollars, being stolen to pay the bills that businesses are too greedy to pay themselves. That means higher taxes for all of us, meaning less money in our pockets.

The issue of low wages isn’t one that only affects the workers: it hits almost every American taxpayer in the wallet, too. Tired of having your pocket picked? Tired of politicos and nabobs transferring your hard-earned to their offshore bank accounts?

Then support an increase in the minimum wage. Even if you don’t give a s*** about your fellow man, it’s in your own best interest.

Lower taxes. Higher wages. It’s a win-win. Support it.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Back in the 70’s and early 80’s, Mr. Blunt and Cranky was a professional musician. That means he could make enough from gigs to pay his bills. Not rich, but getting by. However, bar owners stopped paying players and decided to save money by hiring DJ’s, and eventually Karaoke. The musicians had to quit the stage and get day jobs to pay our bills, but hey, it’s all about the immediate profit margin, right? Pay the least amount possible and make more  money.

Of course, the quality of nightclub “entertainment” these days is, to put it as charitably as possible, minimal. You get what you pay for, and what club owners and “cluboners” are getting for their minimium payout is drunken amateurs who cannot carry a tune in a moving van. They pay for s*** and are getting s***. Not as many people go to bars to hear music these days.

Not that this is unique to the music biz. All over the nation, employers are chopping back on wages, benefits, and generally treating their workers like cheap Kleenex: disposable, cheap resources that can be thrown into the trash at any time, and another pulled from the box to replace it. And politicians of many stripes have helped to make this the new normal via legislation and tax breaks.

In fact, it has gotten so bad, people making the minimum wage can be working full-time and living under a bridge, because they can’t afford both housing and food. If they can afford a roof over their heads, they often must do without transportation or medical care. And unlike this writer, most cannot escape into a different job, because they cannot afford the cost of creatinga new career. These are not going to be motivated, productive employees: rather, they are going to turn into little ticking time bombs, tens of millions of them, waiting for someone or something to light the fuse (read up on the French Revolution if you don’t believe it).

Even absent such a cataclysm, paying people less than they need to survive is a drag on the economy. Think about the Wal-Mart workers who get food stamps or Medicaid, for example. We pay twice for every product we purchase at such an establishment: once at the store, and again with our taxes. And shopping at these places has become a miserable experience, due to horrible employee morale: so bad, in fact, that people don’t want to shop there, and increasingly do not. The employers are paying the minimum and are getting the minimum, all the while demanding the maximum.

One does not need to be an economist to know that this will not end well. If you’re busting your ass and getting screwed while your boss makes millions, you’re going to do a s*** job, because you’re being treated like s***.

The situation has gotten so ridiculous that when a politician proposes raising the minimum wage to a level that is a bit higher but still less than one needs to have the basic necessities of life, why, don’t the Chambers of Commerce and assorted muckety-mucks start to scream and wail like little toddlers who are being made to eat their veggies for a change.  The employers of America have been spoiled for over 30 years, and are now so used being coddled, their every whim indulged, that they are throwing tantrums whenever some teeny amount of discipline is being applied.

Sooner or later, everyone has to learn a simple truth: you get what you pay for. If you pay for motivated workers, you’ll get motivated workers. If you pay for crap workers, you’ll get crap workers.  In the overall economy as in a nightclub, having people who are ill-paid, under-motivated, or unqualified  (or all three) providing a “service” is pretty much guaranteed to make the quality of  that service s*** at worst and minimal at best.

Mr. B & C