McDonald’s has some sound health advice for workers who log onto McResource Line, the company’s employee wellness website. The problem is, many workers are paid far too little follow some of it.
"Don't let the distraction of your money worries prevent you from getting regular exercise, eating healthy and getting enough sleep,” advises the site. Wise words, but difficult for someone trying to sustain a family on minimum wage.
The site also says, “Pack your bags … at least two vacations a year can cut heart attack risk by 50%.” True enough, but not possible for people struggling to make ends meet with their current schedule.
McDonald's worker Jeanette Lynn from North Carolina wrote to the Huffington Post about her own experience. “We make $7.25 an hour," said Lynn, 26. "Why in the world would we take vacations if we already aren't getting paid enough?"
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Lynn may soon be forced to apply for government assistance because the fast-food chain recently cut her hours.
Said Ellen Bravo, director of Family Values At Work, "It's easy for McDonald's to say, 'Sleep tight and don't worry,' but very hard for a worker to do on a tight budget, and no paid leave when you are sick, and no vacation."
According to a recent study from the UC Berkeley Labor Center and the University of Illinois, 52% of front line fast food workers receive public assistance from at least one program — more than double the percent of the overall workforce. While Americans may save a few dollars on cheap meat, they pay an extra $7 billion per year to make up for the restaurants’ refusal to pay livable wages.
Other large (and rich) companies, such as Walmart, have also come under fire for putting gargantuan profits before human needs. One Ohio Walmart location recently held a food drive for its own employees, some of which don’t make enough money to afford a Thanksgiving dinner.