Monday, August 30, 2010

Behind the Counter

Not only has the fast food industry been targeting young workers in their advertising campaigns, but are also overworking the young teenagers they hire behind the counter. Two-thirds of all fast food workers are under the age of twenty. Almost all teens want a job in order to make their own money instead of constantly relying on their parents. Working at a fast food restaurant is an easy job which requires very little experience, making it a fairly good opportunity for teens looking for a job. However, many fast food chains are making teens work over hours, which at times violate child labor laws, which is wrong and unfair. It is very possible that the ONLY thing that concerns fast food chains is making a large profit and spending the least amount of money as possible. In 1997 Taco Bell went to court for convincing workers to spend extra hours at work “off the clock” in order to not pay them for working overtime. The fast food industry hires untrained teenagers because they would not be required to pay them as much as they would as an adult. This is a sign of greediness and selfishness.

When the number of teenage workers decreased, the fast food industries began hiring immigrants, elderly men and women and the handicapped to replace them. Although this is yet another way for the industry to save money, I do not believe it is the smartest idea. These people are not as qualified. Most immigrants in the fast food industry can not speak English. They simply memorize the menu and that is it. This has proved unsatisfactory to many customers as they can not communicate with the person handling their orders and food. Fast food chains are supposed to train their employees but rarely do. The fast food industry pays almost all of their workers minimum wage, which is unfair, as they hire the people who need the money, the most. Fast food industries used federal subsidies to create low paying, unskilled and short term jobs for the poor. This may be the only way the poor can make any source of income and the restaurants simply do not care.

Working at a fast food industry also proves to be a very dangerous job for its workers as the “injury rate of teenage workers in the United States is about twice as high as that of adult workers.” Since teens are untrained workers, they are easily injured on the job. Fast food restaurants are also clear and easy targets for armed robberies as the restaurants keep thousands of dollars in cash on the premises. In addition, the locations of these restaurants are equipped for and easy get away. These industries have little security protection in the restaurants, showing little concern for employees. Working here may be an easy job, but the workers are clearly not treated as well as they should, and the employees are a pivotal part of a successful restaurant.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is important that in any person's life, it is their decision where they work. I also feel that the fact that the fast food chains will employ people who most likely can not get a job anywhere else is somewhat kind of them. It gives the employees a chance and some sort of income that they can not get anywhere else. They have machines that do the work for them, therefore, it is also easy for them to do without mistakes.