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Critical Essay on the Most Dangerous Job in Fast Food Nation

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Fast food is a common take-out meal for families' children. Although it’s very popular and kids love it, fast food does have its problems. First of all the workers are underpaid and treated very poorly. The workers have become injured on numerous occasions but the manager does nothing to support them. Children were working illegally to make happy meal toys for the McDonald’s franchise. Employee wages are very low and poor labor was practiced. Dominos had technological issues and because of the conflict lawyers were forced to get involved to settle the issue. The fast food industry treats its workers unfairly.

Fast food workers have one of the more dangerous jobs. Most commonly they suffer from slips and falls, long hours, and oil burns. On page 175 Eric Schlosser the author of Fast Food Nation states “Again and again workers told me that they are under tremendous pressure not to report injuries”(Schlosser, 2001, 175). The quote embraces the idea of how the fast food industry treats its workers poorly. Fast food workers have suffered many injuries including cuts, the managers never wanted any part of the worker's injuries so the workers were forced to keep it a secret. Many workers such as Kenny Dobbins for example were abused on the job and eventually let go after such a terrible experience. Schlosser states on page 189 “Kenny later broke his leg stepping into a hole in the slaughterhouse’s concrete floor”(Schlosser,2001,189). The quote clearly indicates the disgusting environment of the fast food industry. Workers are treated like garbage and the managers do not care. The managers didn’t even care to patch up the hole in the concrete floor, therefore, giving the opportunity for more accidents to occur. The fast food industry has a lot of problems to approve upon.

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Unlike the present day, the history of workers in the past is much different. Workers were being paid only seven dollars and change. The poor wage wasn’t the only thing frustrating workers. According to the article about labor practices, it states that “McDonald’s employees also complained that they were sometimes forced to work with no breaks in environments that were too hot and rushed”.(“Controversies Related to McDonald’s Nutrition and Labor Practices”). The article indicates that the supervisors in charge cared more about the business and quality of food production rather than the health and well-being of workers. During this time it was also realized that McDonald’s was being accused of child labor. The article states “Reports published in Chinese newspapers later revealed that City Toys Ltd. had been hiring fourteen-year-old boys to work in its plants for up to sixteen hours a day. The teens were paid slightly less than $3 daily”. (“Controversies Related to McDonald’s Nutrition and Labor Practices”). Unfortunately, the young boys working were being paid an insignificant wage, the quote also causes controversy if these children are still receiving the proper education like they should be receiving. Even though the workers are not toddlers, it still violates the law of child labor because the teens are working tremendously long hours with no breaks. Eventually, McDonald’s was charged 30,000 dollars for violating child labor laws.

Dominos which is another famous fast food chain has been around for over fifty years. A conflict with the computer system was the leading cause of the wages being unconstitutional. A lawsuit filed by a New York attorney states “Employees at the restaurants were underpaid by $565,000 because of a faulty computer program Domino's refused to fix, the attorney general said”.(“Reuters, 24 May 2016”.) computers have issues and technological mishaps but it’s inadmissible for the hardworking employees to be cheated out of their hard work. Over the course of time, many labor laws have been passed including minimum wages, medical or family leave child labor, etc. These incidents relate to the McDonald’s industry and how similar results were caused following their child labor allegations. According to the article by Reuters, he indicates that “ ‘We’ve discovered that Domino’s headquarters was intensely involved in store operations and even caused many of these violations’,” Schneiderman said statement (“Reuters, 24 May 2016”.). The article indicates that the headquarters had no intention to adjust the issue of the computer problem. It’s clear to say that these fast-food franchises have been trying to beat the system on numerous occasions. It’s unfortunate to see how atrocious and embittering these industries are towards their employees, especially those who are suffering to make a living and trying to support a family. The attorneys were however able to accomplish the goal of winning the case and earning the well-deserved pay the employees deserve.

Ultimately, the fast food industry has done a very poor job running the business, it's obvious to say that the managers only care about the production of food rather than the well-being of the employees. Although many complaints have been taken, sadly not enough action has been taken. Child labor and low wages, accidents at work and the inability to report them, and the failure to fix the computers are some of the brutal ways how the fast food industry has treated the workers unfairly.

Works Cited

  1. 'Controversies Related to McDonald’s Nutrition and Labor Practices.' Gale In Context Online Collection, Gale, 2016. Gale In Context: High School
  2. 'Domino's sued by N.Y. attorney general over alleged wage theft by franchisees.' Reuters, 24 May 2016. Issues & Controversies, Infobase
  3. Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side Of The All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
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