McDonald’s announced today that it plans to raise U.S. workers’ hourly wage by $1 per hour and increase benefits by the end of 2016, The Wall Street Journal and Time report (note that the WSJ article is behind a pay wall). The changes will affect workers in roughly 1,500 U.S. restaurants. The new benefits will allow those “employees to earn up to five days of paid vacation every year following one year of employment.”
Hesitant to be excited due to the risk that this is a cruel April Fools’ Day trick? It is not, but there is a catch. The pay raise and new benefits won’t apply to workers employed by McDonald’s franchisees, who operate “90 percent of the company’s U.S. restaurants.”
This news comes during the same week as NLRB hearing proceedings concerning whether McDonald’s is jointly responsible for labor violations at its franchisees. Also this week, fast-food workers and organizers announced a one-day strike and national day of action on April 15, as part of their campaign for $15 hourly wages and the right to unionize without retaliation. The announcement was made at an event outside of the McDonald’s in New York’s Times Square.