Question: Should I ask for higher wages?

Readers Question: i am 16 and i have been working in Mcdonalds in my local area for about a year now do you think I should ask for higher wages? Danielle (from Min Wage 16-17 year)

Well according to another commentator, Christopher, he is 17 and earns £4.35 an hour and ‘if i work well it goes up by 10p every 6 months‘. Which is above the official National Minimum wage rate of £3.57.

So if you are earning at or above the national minimum wage is is worth asking for a pay rise?

You could suggest to your employer the economic theory of the ‘minimum efficient wage theory’. This suggests that increasing the wages of workers can lead to an increase in productivity. If workers get higher pay, they are more motivated and loyal to their company, therefore they work harder so the firm can easily afford the wage increase. You could put a wage demand across as a ‘productivity deal.

You could try to argue your marginal revenue product (MRP=MPP *MR) is as high as older workers therefore in the interests of fairness and economic theory, you wages should be increased.

You could try to form a trades union amongst the other staff workers of McDonalds. If you approach your employers on your own, it is easy from them to dismiss you. But, if you can represent all workers, the collective bargaining will have more power. If you have a realistic threat to go on strike, perhaps McDonalds will buckle and give you a higher wage increase. Generally, it has been more difficult to form powerful unions in the service sector. But, perhaps if you can inspire your fellow comrades with an idea of social justice and workers solidarity they will flock to the new union.

You could try pointing out to your employer that since they have a degree of monopsony power, they are paying less than MRP (see: Monopsony and Minimum wage)

Well, good luck 🙂

Wage determination in competitive markets

1 thought on “Question: Should I ask for higher wages?”

  1. I think you would be better off finding some training/education that will allow you to work in another industry since catering is notoriously low paid and you are unlikely to be able to persuade your employer to increase your wages. Almost anyone can do the job you are doing at the moment, so you are in a situation of ‘perfect competition’. i.e. perfect from MacDonalds’ point of view, not yours. A really rare thing among youngsters is having perfect English/spelling/grammar/organisation skills. For example, can you use capital letters and apostrophes properly, or write clear, precise sentences? It may seem trivial, but focus on those, and you might make yourself stand out compared with other people. Remember: differentiation is vitally important. Make yourself stand out.

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