Living and dying for poverty wages during a pandemic

I hope you enjoy that Quarter Pounder with Cheese:

Bergeron-Lawrence described how her poverty wages and lack of access to paid sick leave had recently compelled her to go to work — despite battling a nagging and undiagnosed respiratory illness, where she was assigned to the drive-thru window — interacting with 50 to 80 people per hour. But what seemed to evoke the most anger and emotion in Bergeron-Lawrence was when she described how the McDonald’s corporate offices had brought in and distributed a shipment of “lovely little pins” to the restaurant employees that read “I am essential.”

As Barber observed, the pins constituted a pathetic and maddening token from a multi-national corporation that pays its front-line workers $10 an hour.

That $10 is about $4.70 per hour short of what she needs to pay rent and other bills, and that's not including food. She's probably getting $160 or so in food stamps per month, unless her second job (to finish paying rent) pushed her over the limit ($1,354 gross per month). And before you try to scribble some numbers, there is no way to make that work. You just can't. $15 per hour is not a "dream" wage, it's a survival wage.

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