McDonald’s is the latest high-profile employer to give workers a raise. The fast food giant is boosting pay for 90,000 employees to a dollar above locally-mandated minimum wages en route to more than $10 by 2017.
However, the pay hike the company announced Wednesday only applies to workers at restaurants officially owned by McDonald’s, or about 10 percent of the company’s locations nationwide. The roughly 750,000 workers employed at more than 12,500 franchised restaurants not directly owned by the corporation are not immediately affected by the move. McDonald’s says individual franchisees control their own wages.
The wage hike, which goes into effect July 1, comes on the heels of recent hourly pay increases in the comparably low-paying retail sector. Over the last two months, Walmart, Target and TJX, which owns T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, have all boosted pay, sparking optimism that upward wage pressure has finally hit the labor market.
McDonald’s is also facing allegations at the National Labor Relations Board that it retaliated against employees who spoke out about working conditions and took part in demonstrations asking for higher pay. The NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel argues that McDonald’s corporate headquarters is--along with its franchisees--jointly responsible for some labor violations. McDonald’s says its franchisees set labor standards on their own.