October 1, 2019
This would be a huge improvement over the typical New York customer service experience.
Fast food workers in New York are giving another huge push for automation, ensuring that they will be the first ones to completely lose their jobs to robots in the near future.
After demanding $15 per hour, the clerks and line cooks are now trying to unionize, further enhancing the appeal of mechanized AI replacements.
The Fight for $15 low wage movement has long had two goals: winning a $15 -an-hour wage for low-paid workers and a union for fast-food workers. On wages it has been a major success – seven states have enacted minimum wage laws scheduled to reach $15 – but so far it has made little progress unionizing fast-food workers. That could soon change.
A Manhattan-based union local that works closely with the Fight for $15 has launched an effort to unionize Chipotle and McDonald’s workers, getting workers at more than 50 restaurants to sign pro-union cards. “We’re running a campaign for workers in an industry that has been abusing its workers,” said Kyle Bragg, president of the local carrying out the unionization drive, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union. “These workers want a union. We’re organizing in order to lift workers and improve their lives.”
Until now, the Fight for $15 – which was underwritten by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – hadn’t begun a formal unionization effort at fast-food restaurants. When Fight for $15 began in late 2012, its original strategy was to exert so much pressure on McDonald’s that the fast food giant would agree to sit down and discuss wages and other matters and perhaps promise not to resist unionization efforts. But McDonald’s has refused to talk with the Fight for $15’s leaders.
Demanding a $15 an hour salary from fast food chains was sending them the message “you better think about replacing all your staff with robots soon, or else you’ll go bankrupt.”
Moving to unionize, on the other hand, sends the message: “BRING. IN. THE. ROBOTS. NOW!”
After all, if the salaries are too high, franchisees can hold tight and lose some money for a few years and wait until affordable robots come along to replace these n-words.
However, if they’re unionized, then it might become very difficult to replace them due to union laws.
So the employers will now be scrambling to automate everything as soon as possible.
With its latest effort, Local 32BJ, a powerful local union with 175,000 members, hopes to make clear to Chipotle and McDonald’s that it is intent on unionizing their restaurants in New York, and they shouldn’t oppose that effort. Union officials say a majority of the hundreds of fast-food workers organizers have approached have signed cards supporting a union.
Jeremy Espinal, who works at a Chipotle in Greenwich Village, said he supports unionization because managers often treat workers with little respect. “The managers try to dehumanize you and try to beat you down mentally as much as they can so they can overwork you and make you feel you’re never doing enough,” said Espinal, a junior at Hunter College.
Yeah, I’m sure these employers who don’t respect you and treat you like dirt will feel real bad about throwing you all on the street and replacing you with robots.
My personal hope is that this is the thing which finally sparks the mecha revolution.
I don’t care if we’ll need to cope with McDonald’s and Chipotle-themed Gundams. It’s worth it!