Monday, April 29, 2013

7-Eleven and wages

It's important to consider what would replace a 7-Eleven on 11th and Avenue A. Since there are three liquor licenses within 500 feet of the site, it would be difficult for a bar owner to get passed the State Liquor License's constraints on license density. The next likely candidate would be a restaurant, judging by the local commerce in the EV. So how would a restaurant affect labor?

7-Eleven store associate hourly wage can be as low as $7.25/hr; $8.44 average (from Payscale and Glassdoor). 7-Eleven store associates are required to have English fluency: "Must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with customers and coworkers." They are also subjected to background checks -- no undocumented immigrants allowed.

Mean average for a cook's wage, nation-wide, $11.20/hr; median: $10.29/hr; lowest 10%: $8.14/hr (BLS). No language requirement, no background check. 

So replacing a 7-Eleven with a restaurant in NYC would improve the wage prospects generally, and specifically of immigrant workers, documented as well as undocumented. Unless it were a chain restaurant -- a McDonalds cook wage averages, according to Glassdoor, $7.41/hr. That's one reason among many, NO 7-Eleven is trying to curtail all giant chains and franchises. Minimum wage may be fine for a 16-year-old's first summer job, but not a way forward for labor in general. "The majority (66 percent) of low-wage workers are not employed by small businesses, but rather by large corporations.

Is it easier to organize labor in a giant corporation? Maybe (but maybe not). Giant corps also have greater political clout the larger they are, so there is a danger of promoting corporatocracy. In one way it's the meeting of Stalinism and libertarianism -- "free" market corporatocracy replaces the totalitarian state, the "internal contradiction" of libertarianism, trading one form of control (government) for another (corporate giants). Reminds me of a Maoist friend who voted for Giuliani thinking that his reactionary policies would spark a revolution. Instead we have rampant gentrification.

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