McDonald’s wage problems are no stranger to the media spotlight these days, and the company’s treatment of employees is controversial at best. In 2013, the fast food giant suffered lawsuits by workers who claimed that the company shaved off their hours and improperly compensated them. Earlier this year, the company also got in trouble with 27 plaintiffs who filed seven different lawsuits against it for damages and back pay as they claim they had expenses deducted that ended up putting their earnings below minimum wage. And now, another round of protests is occurring near McDonald’s headquarters including hundreds of workers who call for pay increases.
These workers call for an approximate doubling of their wages to $15 an hour in addition to the right to unionize, according to Reuters. It quotes Jessica Davis, a 25 year-old crew trainer for the company: “We need to show McDonald’s that we’re serious and that we’re not backing down.”
What makes these protests stick out more than ones that have peppered McDonald’s’ legal landscape over the last year is not just the sheer size of them, but that they occur right around the time the company’s board and shareholders will be evaluating executive compensation plans. The protests have been moved to be held near the gathering of the shareholders in Chicago as they meet to give their vote. It had been held prior near the headquarters of the company in the city before the HQ was shut down after a police consultation.
Last year, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson made a total compensation of $9.5 million, a number workers like Davis claim is an unjust sum given the company’s mistreatment of its employees wage-wise. These protests also come at a time when President Barack Obama is urging Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. Regardless of whether or not the shareholders approve Thompson’s wage, enough workers don’t approve of their own to get attention and possibly sway a few votes.