Thursday, April 29, 2010

restaurant employees and union

When working for a company, it is very crucial to have union, especially when working for a company where your life can be in danger, or if not danger then where you could be treated unfairly by the company. As a result, when having union, you will be marked for sure that union will be behind you for 24/7. However, some companies don’t like to have union for their employees, especially multi billion companies like Burger King, McDonalds, Taco Bell, and many others. Fast food restaurant employees should be unionized because they are being abused and treated unfairly

In United States, fast food restaurants are one the fastest growing industries that roles the Americans’ economy. Everyday it serves millions of customers per day , possibly more. These restaurants possesses about millions of employees, majority employees are foreigners. These employees are hard working employees. Their works are intense everyday whether if it is a busy day or not. For instance, I myself worked at Burger King and McDonalds. There are no differences between these two chains. Everyday I would hassle to serve customers. Often time, during the rush hours, would lead to frustrations and confusions because you’re constantly on active from the moment you walk into the kitchen and after taking one 30 minute break. The duties are always multitasked. Even if you finished with your work, the managers will find something for you to do. Specially when it comes to cleaning part, you have to do more than one cleanings a day.

First, in fast food restaurants employees are being victimized to work for free by not paying for overtime, or not being paid at all by managers to save labors. In a report by Steve Miletich says, “ In a verdict that could cost Taco Bell millions of dollars, a King County Superior Court jury yesterday that the California-based fast-food chain deliberately cheated its hourly workers in Washington state forcing them to work off the clock and forgo overtime pay. This is true because this same scenario happened to myself as well only think that did not take place was court part. When I worked at Burger King, the managers cut my hours many times because either I made my 40 hours, or I exceeded over 40 hours, which is over time, that company supposed to pay for time and a half because of making overtime. For instance, once, one of the manager asked me to stay for next shift because one of the employees called out sick, so I stayed, just to make extra earnings. As the day of the pay, which was Friday, arrived, I looked at my check, there were no overtime pay nor were there any overtime hours. However, I did not make any complaints because I did not want to cause any sort of disputes, which I thought could lead me to distrust. This also happened to many of my colleagues. If we had union they would not have cut our hours, or even steal our working hours.

Second, every year, employees work at fast food chains are injured when handling restaurant equipments. The common types of injuries are slipping and falling, chemical burning, and getting cuts; the most popular injuries are oil and fire burns. In a report that was conducted by Sonny Inbaraj wrote, “ Joe, a 16-year-old students, is employed as a kitchen hand at a fast-food outlet here on a casual part-time basis. On one occasion he was injured by fire, but his boss told him it was his own fault and ordered him to keep working to serve the customers.” It is very hard to avoid this type of injury when you are surrounded by fry machines throughout the shift because 1st you are dropping food and taking food out from oil, and 2nd you are cleaning more than one machine in same time. For instance, when I worked at Burger King I was burned almost all the time when cleaning the fry machines. Those machines are no joke because sometime they can be very dangerous if properly not handled or careful. For example, one busy ,summer day, I was told to clean all the fry machines quickly due to employee shortness. At that time, it was my 2nd working week, with short knowledge about the restaurant’s equipments, but I was confident to complete the job. However, that assuredness did so little to help me avoid the flame that burst from the machine because I had forgotten to lock a cover where the oil comes out from. Luckily, I was not burned due to my 1 feet away from the fryer, not scabbing or cleaning. What if there weren’t any luck, then I would have been hospitalized. Probably ,still, would be sitting at this very moment and writing this essay with a thousands of dollar hospital bill without any union to back me up.

In conclusion, having union in fast food restaurants for employees not only can make a differences, but can save those workers from getting hours cut, and from getting injured. More importantly, this can stop these chains from any other types of nonsense.


Steve Miletich. " Taco Bell Is Found Guilty Of Worker Abuses." Seattle Post-Intelligencer. April 9, 1997, Wednesday, Final

Sonny Inbaraj." Labor-Australia: Fast-Food Workers Seek Union." IPS-Inter Press Service. June 16,2004, Wednesday.

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