Retzer: McDonald’s offers valuable job experience

Last week you published an article entitled “Our View” by Laura K. Cooper who was complaining about the terrible state of our economy and the prospect of working for $7.35 an hour for the rest of her life. She stated that as a junior in high school she was proud and happy to have a job at McDonald’s but that “soon changed when layoffs left employees at my store overworked, underpaid, and utterly demoralized.” As Ms. Cooper’s employer, I was surprised to read about her lack of job security and lack of hope that things could get better.

Her statement shocked me, so I decided to investigate her situation. In her article, she indicated she had “stayed because I needed the money to pay for college.” What I discovered was that Ms. Cooper first began working in my restaurant in Indianola on May 11, 2011, and worked there for only 19 days until she received a transfer to my restaurant in Greenville, where she worked after school for the next year. She quit to go to school in August of 2012. There were no layoffs. In short, this was a great after-school and vacation job for Ms. Cooper….

…Paying unskilled workers a higher $15 wage will do two things: Significantly it will increase the cost of living by raising the price of food, shelter, and transportation as well as education. Additionally it will eliminate many students jobs such as the one Ms. Cooper used to help get through school.

Ms. Cooper is a great success story. She received an excellent education at Tougaloo; she earned money and gained valuable job experience by working at McDonald’s during her school vacations. Sadly, she wants to deny this same experience to other teenagers and college students by pricing them out of the job market.

Mike Retzer is a McDonald’s owner/operator.