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Unformatted text preview: re they can walk.”
The employees whom the fast food industry expects to crawl are by far the biggest group of low-wage workers in the United States today.
The nation has about 1 million migrant farm workers and about 3.5 million fast food workers. Although picking strawberries is orders of
magnitude more difficult than cooking hamburgers, both jobs are now filled by people who are generally young, unskilled, and willing to
work long hours for low pay. Moreover, the turnover rates for both jobs are among the highest in the American economy. The annual
turnover rate in the fast food industry is now about 300 to 400 per-cent. The typical fast food worker quits or is fired every three to four
The fast food industry pays the minimum wage to a higher proportion of its workers than any other American industry. Consequently, a
low minimum wage has long been a crucial part of the fast food industry’s business plan. Between 1968 and 1990, the years when the fast
food chains expanded at their fastest rate, the real value of the U.S. minimum wage fell by almost 40 percent. In the late 1990s, the real
value of the U.S. mi...
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- Spring '08