5 February 2010
Fast Food, Fast Jobs, Fast Migration
“Hello, welcome to McDonald’s! May I take your order?” These are the words no person wishes to repeat hour after hour, day after day, and month after month at a job. Despite this fact, thousands of people wake up each morning and have no choice but to slap on a uniform and a smiling face. These workers are known to have been abused, neglected and taken advantage of by their employers. And large quantities of these workers are recent immigrants. In Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation, Schlosser addresses the fact that fast food chains and corporations take advantage of these recent immigrants. Although Schlosser’s statements concerning immigrant worker abuses are valid, Schlosser fails to mention the benefits of these jobs for recent immigrants and the benefits these new workers can bring to the restaurants.
Jobs at fast food restaurants are thought of more as mistakes and poor choices than opportunities for job seeking employees and employers alike. There are approximately 2 million fast food restaurant positions in America, half of which are filled by new immigrants. More and more jobs appear every year with fast food facilities growing in number. One million immigrants are estimated to arrive in the United States each year. This number does not include illegal immigrants, which also rapidly climb in number every year. Most of the immigrants come to America in search of new opportunities, to seek refuge, or to start a new life with a fresh beginning. These immigrants are generally unfamiliar with the English language and have little to no work-related skills or credentials. When these individuals realize that jobs that call for foreign and illiterate people are minimal, they can always find their way to the bright neon lights of a fast food restaurant.
In America, fast food careers “[offer] a first step...