Tyree Johnson has been cooking hamburgers and working the fryer at McDonald’s and he is still making the minimum wage, according to a report from Bloomberg. Johnson works at two McDonald’s in his hometown of Chicago and is earning the $8.25 per hour. In 2011, the CEO of the company pulled in $8.75 million.
In a statement from Cheryll Ocampo Forsatz of McDonald’s, the company said, “We value our employees’ well-being and the contributions they make to our restaurants, and thank them for what they do each and every day. Our franchisees are independent business owners and make all their own hiring and wage decisions.”
Johnson is 44 and older workers such as himself are commonplace in fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.
In 2010, 17 percent of food preparation and serving workers were people between the ages of 16 and 19. That percentage dropped from almost one-quarter back in 2000. Since then, older, underemployed Americans have begun to take on those jobs.
“The sheer number of adults in the industry has just exploded” because fast-food restaurants “not only survived, but thrived during the economic recession,” Saru Jayaraman said. Jayaraman is the director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California at Berkeley.
“Every time they transfer you to a different store, they lower your pay,” Johnson said. “You have to climb back up.”