McDonald’s, in a reversal of company policy, said it no longer will lobby against minimum-pay hikes in the U.S.
“Going forward, McDonald’s Corporation will not use our resources, including lobbyists or staff, to oppose minimum-wage increases at the federal, state or local levels,” said Genna Gent, the company’s vice president of U.S. government relations, in a letter sent Tuesday to the National Restaurant Association. “Nor will we participate in association advocacy efforts designed expressly to defeat wage increases.”
McDonald’s restaurants employ more than 800,000 people domestically – many of whom work for franchised locations that are independently owned and operated. At the company’s stores, the average starting pay is more than $10 an hour, McDonald’s said. The federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour and hasn’t increased since 2009.
Required pay increases have taken hold in states across the country lately, with many moving to bump minimum wage to $15 an hour. The changes have been helped along by union-backed protests aimed especially at the fast-food industry and McDonald’s.
“The conversation about wages is an important one; it’s one we wish to advance, not impede,” the world’s biggest restaurant company said in the letter. “Progress must come from all corners of our society.”