A misguided Big Mac attack

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RAYNARD JACKSON

(NNPA)—Two weeks ago, I was sent a video of a Hispanic woman interrupting a speech by Jeff Stratton, president of McDonald’s USA. He was giving a speech at the Union League Club of Chicago. Nancy Salgado, the Hispanic woman in question, became Exhibit A for what’s gone wrong in today’s workforce: rudeness and what the Bible calls slothfulness.

Salgado is a 26-year-old cashier at a McDonald’s in Chicago. She has two children out of wedlock and earns $8.25 an hour for working 30 to 40 hours a week. She has worked for McDonald’s since she was 16 and claims, without offering any documentation, that she has never received a raise in her decade of working at Mickey D’s.

Salgado rudely interrupted Stratton’s speech by shouting, “Do you think it’s fair that I have to be living on a poverty wage? Do you think it’s fair that I am making $8.25 while I’ve worked for McDonald’s for 10 years? Do you think it’s fair? My two kids are struggling because you can’t raise our minimum wage. I don’t believe that’s fair. What do you have to say?”

If I had been in the audience, I would have gladly answered for Stratton.

No, you don’t have to live on poverty wages. If you have been with a local franchisee for 10 years and have never received a raise, then there must be a whole lot more to your story that you aren’t sharing. McDonald’s has one of the best training programs for their employees in the U.S. It is not possible to work for a franchisee, take advantage of their training programs and not to receive raises and promotions. That can’t happen at McDonald’s, if you have a commendable work record.

The second point: It’s not McDonald’s fault that you decided to have two kids without the benefit of being married. If you couldn’t afford to have children, why didn’t you abstain, take birth control, or get married and then have kids?

Salgado wants to put that responsibility at the feet of McDonald’s? Really? Give me a break. She made a series of horrible decisions and now she wants someone else to foot the bill for her mistakes.

The interruption was orchestrated by a liberal group that advocates $15 an hour wages for fast food industry employees. Salgado and the other protesters were issued tickets by the police for trespassing.

I called Jessica Desvarieux, the reporter who interviewed Salgado for The Real News Network in Baltimore. A more appropriate name for the outfit would be “The Real Liberal News Network.” In our conversation, she attempted to portray Salgado as a martyr.

After I challenged Desvarieux on her bias, she rushed off of the phone, saying she had a meeting to attend. She had absolutely no interest in balancing her story with McDonald’s point of view or asking Salgado why she never took advantage of McDonald’s training programs.

I had an opportunity to discuss the issue with Don Thompson, the president and CEO of McDonald’s Corp. I mentioned that I thought McDonald’s specifically and the fast food industry in general, has done a horrible job of addressing these types of volatile issues. He acknowledged that they could do a better job in this area.

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