The Economics of the Fast Food Industry

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Huge Profits and Salaries for the Owners

In order to best maximize their profits, the big fast food giant 's created the franchise system. This system allows the companies to maintain overall control of the product, and give them a guaranteed rate of return, while at the same time allowing local owners to create a low-wage work force best suited to local conditions. For us, as workers, that means our immediate employers are often small business owners, and franchise owners who plead poverty when we demand higher wages.

At present 2,708 of Pizza Hut’s 4,496 stores are franchises. The rest are run directly by corporate headquarters. In Western Washington the franchise for Pizza Hut has been given to Emerald City.

Pizza Hut is the
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Even among service workers it was 26.2%. [Stats from Labor Relations in that Global Fast Food Industry, edited by Tony Royle.]
Answering Company Arguments Against Higher Pay

During our organizing drive management repeatedly tried to justify the poverty level wages we earn. Below are the most common arguments and how to refute them.

Though we will focus exclusively on the claims made by Emerald City during our campaign, most of the pizza and other fast food franchises will use similar tactics. These responses can help workers combat corporate propaganda justifying the low wages and few benefits we are paid.

“Pizza Hut doesn’t have money for raises and we simply can’t compensate you for the cost of delivering our products”.

This is the most common argument made by company executives and owners when workers demand better compensation for their work. The problem is, this is just an assertion. And they expect us to believe it. We need to ask: where’s the evidence? We want to see financial records, including: all payment to directors and share-holders and payments to the multinationals. When a union organizer asked an executive of Emerald City to do so, he refused.

This executive then claimed that he too drove a “used car” and that he was “just like the rest of us”. Anticipating this kind of argument, organizers had paid a visit to his listed address only a week earlier and took photographs of his vast home. Apparently this
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