In 2012, I started working at Burger King, which is franchised out through Goldco LLC. I took the job mainly to supplement my income from another job I held at the time and thought it would be a great chance to make money on the side. I was sadly mistaken.
I started off as a team member, making and serving food. Soon I realized however, that I was unloading and stocking the food truck and maintaining the stock room and doing maintenance work around the restaurant as well. I never missed work, did everything above and beyond the call of duty and never complained.
One day an employee told me I should ask for a raise since I was doing some assistant manager duties as well as what I was already assigned in my normal duties. So I went to my manager on two separate occasions and asked for a raise. I was making minimum wage, which in the state of Alabama is $7.25, and only asked for a small increase in pay. I also argued that since I received no insurance and was working 28-30 hours a week I thought that it wouldn’t be a big issue.
I was rejected twice and told to go back to work and quit being silly.
I learned that another employee who’d been working with Burger King for 17 years was making the same wages as I, and I started to do some research on the matter. I discovered that the former baseball player Hank Aaron and his corporation owned this particular franchise (though they sold out to another franchisee not too long after I started working there). I thought to myself: why would he not be willing to pay higher wages? Of course you know the saying that, under capitalism, the rich just keep getting richer while the poor just keep getting poorer and in debt.
The conditions at this Burger King were deplorable to say the least and unsanitary, and they would put off spending any money maintaining the facility as long as possible. It’s truly despicable how much money the franchise owners and the people in the corporate offices made, compared to what the store manager, assistant managers, and employees made. We had several great managers come and go simply because they weren’t paid fair wages.
I left after two years of working there as a result of how they got around Obamacare. They cut everyone’s hours in half and hired double the employees to keep from having to pay for Obamacare. That had little to do with me leaving, however. I left because I knew I would never receive a pay increase and that I was viewed like Bob Dylan’s song: “Only a Pawn in Their Game.”
Photo: Consumerist Dot Com/CC