McDonald’s To Raise Workers’ Wages, But Only At 10% Of U.S. Restaurants

The good news for McDonald’s employees looking for a raise — the company plans to pay workers more and offer new benefits. The not-so-good news — this only affects about 10% of the company’s locations in the U.S.

The fast food chain confirmed to the Wall Street Journal today that that will raise pay for workers at company-owned McDonald’s outlets by at least 10%. These employees will also see new benefits like paid vacations.

The increases will start on July 1. That’s when affected employees get a bump so that they are receiving at least $1/hour above the local minimum wage, which ranges from the federal minimum of $7.25/hour to more than $10/hour in some states and cities. Seattle, for example, is currently ramping up the minimum wage so that it reaches $15/hour in the coming years.

The Journal says the raise will impact 90,000 McDonald’s employees, but the announcement does not compel franchisees to increase pay or add benefits. That means only about 1-in-10 U.S. McDonald’s stores will be affected by the policy change.

This separation between franchisees and their corporate overlords is at the center of a current legal battle involving McDonald’s. Last year, the federal National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel ruled that while McDonald’s HQ allows franchisees to set their own pay levels and hiring policies, the company exerts such influence over the franchisees that the corporate office could be considered a joint employer in labor disputes.

And in late 2014, the NLRB filed multiple complaints against both franchisees and McDonald’s Corp. for allegedly retaliating against protestors.

In response to the pay-hike news, a union-backed group supporting higher wages for fast food workers released a statement from a McDonald’s worker in Charlotte, NC.

“Because we joined together and stood up, McDonald’s was forced to raise pay. Still, this is too little to make a real difference, and covers only a fraction of workers,” reads the statement the employee, who claims to earn the federal minimum wage. “It’s a weak move for a company that made $5.6 billion in profits last year. We’re going to keep fighting until we win $15 and union rights for all fast-food workers and our families.”

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