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Fast food companies have among the worst pay gaps of any industry. While cashiers and cooks make around minimum wage, the chief executives of these companies can earn millions of dollars.
A statistic reported by Leslie Patton at Bloomberg News shows just how staggering the difference is.
A McDonald’s employee would need about a million hours of work — or more than a century on the clock — to earn the $8.75 million that McDonald’s paid then- CEO Jim Skinner last year, according to Patton.
She profiled Tyree Johnson, a 44-year-old McDonald’s employee who is homeless despite working at two stores. He earns about $8.25 an hour at his jobs, and is often stressed about where he will be able to bathe himself.
Johnson started at McDonald’s in 1992, two years after current CEO Don Thompson started at the company.
“This is life in one of America’s premier growth industries,” Patton writes. “Fast-food restaurants have added positions more than twice as fast as the U.S. average during the recovery that began in June 2009.”
But McDonald’s corporate says it doesn’t take responsibility for how much workers at its franchises are paid.
“McDonald’s has no involvement in its franchisees’ salary policies,” the company told Patton in an email. “Our franchisees are independent business owners and make all their own hiring and wage decisions.”
Fast food and retail workers demanding higher wages have made headlines recently, but the companies show no signs of raising wages.
Walmart CEO Mike Duke said this week that the company’s wages are “competitive” and that retail is generally a low-margin industry.