McDonald's Low Wages Cost Taxpayers $US1.2 Billion Annually

Earlier we reported on a new study that found half of fast food workers rely on some form of public assistance to supplement their low wages, costing taxpayers roughly $US7 billion annually.
A separate study released Tuesday by the pro-labour National Employment Law Project focuses on the cost of employees’ government-funded benefits at the 10 largest fast food restaurants.

The study found that employees of McDonald’s alone receive a total of $US1.2 billion in public assistance benefits annually.

By comparison, the study estimates annual benefits at $US648 million for employees of Yum! Brands (which includes Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell) and $US436 million for employees of Subway.

Overall, the study calculates that the roughly 2.3 million employees of the biggest fast food chains receive more than $US3.8 billion in annual benefits.

The study also notes that many of the companies’ top executives were paid hefty bonuses while their front-line workers – such as cooks and cashiers — were making an average of $US8.69 an hour.

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, for example, was paid a compensation package worth $US13.8 million last year, up from the $US4.1 million package that he received in 2011.

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