How Aussie McDonald's Pays $15 an Hour
And what we can learn from it: Jordan Weissmann
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 6, 2013 1:05 PM CDT
Demonstrators in support of fast food workers protest outside a McDonald's Monday, July 29, 2013, in New York's Union Square.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) – Stateside McDonald's workers want their pay hiked to $15 an hour—which should sound pretty familiar to Australians working at the same restaurant. The Aussie minimum wage is $14.50, and plenty of McDonald's staffers make more than that. On top of that, they've just scored a 15% raise by 2017. But Big Macs in the country cost just 6 cents to 70 cents more than they do here. How does that work out? asks Jordan Weissmann in the Atlantic. For starters, there are some catches.

Australian teens aren't subject to the minimum wage, so 16-year-old workers often make just $8 an hour—and McDonald's has a lot of them. Meanwhile, the chain may be getting more work out of fewer workers, through boosted productivity or replacing employees with computers. Then there's Australia's early adoption of pricier items like McCafe, which has been around since 1993 in the country. Australia could potentially serve as a model for reforming McDonald's here—but it would take time for the company to build a new business model, Weissmann notes. Click for his full piece.

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Showing 3 of 92 comments
Crotalus
Aug 7, 2013 9:56 AM CDT
As long as we have a bought and paid for congress, who represent the middle east and big business only, there will never be a $15 an hour min wage in this country. Forget about that, that might bring the poor up a notch and congress can't have that, not with the kind of masters they have.
hog_one
Aug 7, 2013 6:35 AM CDT
So you want to raise the minimum wage. Let's have a little test on that. Let's say the current minimum wage is ten dollars an hour not seven something. You are working for a company and you make twenty dollars an hour. A new person starts to work in your department at ten an hour on Monday. That same day the Feds say, lets' raise the minimum wage from ten to fifteen an hour and it goes into effect next Monday. Next Monday you come to work and you are still earning twenty an hour. But the new person who started last week at ten an hour is now making fifteen an hour, that's a 50% pay increase. This person is now making two thirds of what you do and not half as they used too. You have more skill and have been with the company longer. Do you and all the others that make twenty an hour do your jobs and keep quiet or do you approach you boss and ask for a pay increase?
Lefty_Libby
Aug 7, 2013 12:58 AM CDT
Not McDonald's, but still about wages: Housing has restarted in my region, but builders can't find skilled, experienced framers to work 10 hours a day in 110 degree heat. Reason: The builders still want to pay $10.00 per hour. Wage stagnation continues. Remember the days when massa' lived in that big, pretty plantation mansion, and the people who built it lived in the slave quarters. Well, the builders like that lifestyle, and they're trying to keep it, even if no one will work for ten bucks. Many have stopped using E-verify. They're determined to bring the illegals back up from south of the border, so that they (the scum sucking millionaires) can continue to live like parasites at the expense of their fellow Americans.