More Heartless Advice from McDonald’s to Employees: Sell Your Christmas Gifts

AlterNet / By Rod Bastanmehr

The fast-food conglomerate would do just about anything to avoid paying a living wage.

November 21, 2013 |

As the giving season approaches, fast-food giant McDonald’s has found a new way to avoid helping its low-paid workers with a living wage: this time by urging employees to sell their Christmas presents for extra money. The helpful bit of corporate advice was posted on the company’s “McResource” employee webpage in an effort to help staff manage finances and stress as the holiday season approaches. Companies like McDonald’s and Walmart are really outdoing themselves with the holidays appaoaching: Retail giant Wal-Mart’s recently requested help with the company’s food drive, with proceeds going to their own employees, because Wal-MArt does not pay them enough to afford food.

Of course, McDonald’s also recently advised employees break food into little pieces in an effort to feel more full on less food. In yet more helpful tips from this very caring empyer, McDonald’s also recommended singing away stress and taking two vacations a year to lower the risk of heart attack. And, of course, selling your possessions is not just good for Christmas presents, they advise “selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist” for “some quick cash.”

The company recommendations were publicized on Tuesday through Low Pay Is Not OK, an advocacy group for higher wages for fast food workers, arguing that the conglomorate asking its employees to make up for a lack of financial stability because of pitifully low wages was reprehensible. The organization quickly experienced blowback from McDonald’s, with the company flaming that the company-wide advice was taken out of context.

“This is an attempt by an outside organization to undermine a well-intended employee assistance resource website by taking isolated portions out of context,” the company said in a public statement.
The group was in the news earlier this month for releasing a recording of McDonald’s workers calling the company hotline asking for assistance, where the operators then urge the decade-long employee to apply for federal food stamps and Medicaid assistance. According to a recent study, 52% of families of major fast-food employees are enrolled in one or more public assistance programs, compared with the 25% of the whole workforce. The same employee in question was arrested that same month after confronting McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton during a speech in Chicago regarding the $8.25 hourly wage that left her unable to purchase clothing from her children, which has since been used as a major rallying cry for those asking for a major overhaul in fast food companie’s obligation to their employees.

Rod Bastanmehr is a freelance writer in New York City with a passion for music, film and culture. Follow him on Twitter @rodb.

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