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Mar 27, 2019

McDonald's drops lobbying efforts against U.S. minimum-wage increases

McDonald's Corp.

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McDonald’s Corp., 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,” Genna Gent, the company’s vice president of U.S. government relations, said 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 US$10 an hour, McDonald’s said. The federal minimum wage stands at US$7.25 an hour and hasn’t increased since 2009.

Still, required pay increases have taken hold in states across the country lately, with many moving to bump minimum wage to US$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.”

Politico earlier reported on McDonald’s letter.