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McDonald’s Workers Prep to Stage Largest Low-Wage Protest Ever

They say they won’t be pacified by the promised $1 pay raise.

McDonald’s execs are having a bad year. Not only is their brand rapidly falling out of the favor of young Americans, they’ve also got an increasingly angry, underpaid worker base on their hands. Despite its best efforts to pacify employees with a measly $1 pay raise, McDonald’s will find itself facing one of the largest protests for low-wage workers in company history, as organizers all over the U.S. mobilize workers in a Fight for $15 protest against “poverty wages” scheduled for May 21—the day of the company’s big shareholder meeting.

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The Wal-Mart Protester and the Ghost of Tom Joad

Re-examining a classic novel in the era of our growing low-wage economy

When I was a dumb high school kid, I read The Grapes of Wrath, and remember being struck by the countless indignities systematically inflicted upon the decent, hardworking Joad family and their fellow migrant workers in the name of pure financial profit. The outrage and confusion I felt at the conclusion of that Pulitzer Prize winner came rushing back this month as I read about the Los Angeles Wal-Mart employees and their supporters—some of whom put tape over their mouths to protest what at least one striker reportedly called “Wal-Mart’s illegal fear tactics.”—who were taken into custody following a demonstration that called for the store to pay $15 an hour and provide better work schedules. They seemed to be asking for the same things the Joad family had sought: a decent living that might lead to better opportunity, in exchange for diligent labor. The American dream by way of an honorable social contract. But like the Joads, they’re growing increasingly frustrated that one end of the social contract isn’t being held up, to disastrous effect for many American families.

Far from being over, it appears the protesters’ activism is just ramping up as employees at more than one thousand Wal-Mart stores plan to walk out on Black Friday (which actually begins for many Wal-Mart workers on Thanksgiving Day). Those laborers are far from the only ones in the United States disgruntled to the point of Tom Joad-levels of frustration. Thousands of fast-food workers also went on strike this September, demanding $15 an hour and the right to unionize. More than 430 of them in cities across the nation were arrested for blocking traffic and other violations, but they must have found the risk of being put in handcuffs less stressful than allowing the status quo to continue.

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Features

America Has the Saltiest Fast Food in the World

American Chicken McNuggets are more than twice as salty as British ones.


We're number one, America—when it comes to our ability to pump as much salt into our food as humanly possible! A new global study of fast food found that U.S. pizzas, burgers, fried chicken, and fries are packed with even more salt than the fast foods exiting drive-through windows elsewhere in the world.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, examined the salty offerings of six fast food chains—Burger King, Domino’s, KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and Subway—in six countries—Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The U.S. fast food industry consistently delivered more salt per gram than the (still very salty!) fast-food average. America has got the saltiest pizzas in the world. The salt levels in our "savory breakfast items" are comparatively ridiculous. McDonald's Chicken McNuggets sold in the United States contain two and a half times more salt than do British McNuggets. (Impressively, our fast food salads contain only an average amount of salt).

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McDonald's Hiring Day Finds Many McDonald's Not Hiring

The burger chain's promotional event resulted in frustration when some locations admitted to not even having jobs available.


McDonald's touted its National Hiring Day on Tuesday as being a huge opportunity for America's unemployed. The fast-food giant said it was seeking to hire 50,000 new workers at its more than 12,000 U.S. locations, an offer that brought out hopeful job seekers of all ages in cities around the country. There was just one problem: A lot of McDonald's locations weren't hiring.

Writing for African-American interest website TheLoop21.com, Jason Johnson took it upon himself to stop at a variety of McDonald's restaurants on a drive from Atlanta, Georgia, to Cleveland, Ohio. Johnson says most locations he checked out reported a lackluster turnout of applicants, and many others told him flat out that they weren't hiring anymore:

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Calling All Canadians, Help Explain the McLobster McLobster: Where to Find McDonald's North Atlantic Seafood Sandwich

What McLobsters, McRibs, McCrab, McArabia, and the McLaks say about the regionalization of the homogenous McDonald's fast food chain.


Why the Internet discovered McLobster in the middle of the winter is beyond me, but MyFox News, the Los Angeles Times, and millions of Google searchers were all over the story this week.

Since I live in Maine, where they've reportedly been sighted, and I had never actually tasted one, I decided to go out looking for the elusive McLobster. One source told me the sandwich was a seasonal sandwich reserved for tourists. Across the border, in the Canadian Maritimes, travel writers characterize the whole island of Prince Edward Island by its devotion to a regional sandwich known as McLobster. Still, barring a 18-hour road trip, I'm not going to score a McLobster until the summer—and, even then, one franchise told me the last McLobster they served was eight years ago.

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How to Make a McRib (Not for a Limited Time Only)

Ryan Adams explains how anyone can make a delicious pork sandwich at home. All it takes is pork belly and patience.

Last week, McDonald's rolled out the McRib, the elusive and experimental sandwich that's been on and off the chain's menu since 1981. One of the oddest things about the sandwich is its pork patty, which has mechanically pressed "ribs" that hardly look like they've come from a piglet (maybe a small cat or a ferret instead?).

So thankfully, Ryan Adams, who blogs at Nose to Tail at Home, has transformed the sandwich by substituting pork belly for those perplexing preformed pork patties. He also shows how to recreate the other basic ingredients—rolls, pickles, BBQ sauce, and pork belly—without visiting the drive-through or picking up frozen meat patties at Walmart.

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