Is the Job in Fast-Food Restaurant Exploitative?

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4. Is the job in fast-food restaurant exploitative? It yes, in what sense it is exploitative? Please also take into consideration the implementation of minimum wage when illustrating your argument. Introduction

Exploitation is a term to describe person that are being mistreated. Karl Marx used it to explain the relationship between the capitalists and workers. It is claim that the value of a product is depended by how much labor has paid on it such as time, energy or ideas. Therefore the price of a product minus the cost and energy to produce a product or other sufficient usages should be equal to what a worker can earn. However, as the workers own nothing but their labor, they could only sell their labor to capitalists who own all other kinds of resources. Marx defined the value that capitalists take away from the workers as surplus value. It should be fair between “sellers” and “buyers”, but the capitalists refuse to pay a suitable amount of reward. In order to gain more profit, the capitalists would try as hard as they can to increase the surplus value, and lead to exploitation. In the paragraph below, I will first start with reason why Hong Kong fast food workers being exploited. Second I will focus on the current situation of exploitations in Hong Kong fast food restaurant. In addition, I will express my opinion on the implantation of minimum wage. It could only improve the situation of workers but could not solve the problem of exploitation. Reason for being exploited

Workers in fast food shop is being exploited mainly because of the supply of workers is far more than the demand of job opportunities. In general, the jobs in fast food restaurant are independent to the education level. It is because most of the job opportunities in fast food restaurants are being simplified and divided clearly. With the aid of machines, almost everyone could do the job well; no specific skills are needed in fast food restaurants. Therefore this kind of jobs will depend much more on social skills such as communicate with customers, meaning that this kind of jobs is widely open to different types of people. In 2007, there are approximately 32,100 fast food restaurant employee, compare with unemployment workers of age group between 20 to 50, which is over 100,000 in 2007. It is obvious that the supply of potential workers is far more than the job opportunities. Since the workers lack of bargaining power, it means capitalists could heavily exploit and extract the surplus value from workers. In order to earn a living or at least subsidies the family, workers have no choice but to accept the offer from capitalists. Exploitation in Hong Kong fast food restaurant

There are two sectors for capitalists to exploit the labors, first is low wage and long working hour , another would be on cutting employee welfare, and these two kinds of exploitations are common in fast food restaurant. It is terrified that the first aspect, low wage and long working hour, is a kind of norm in fast food industry. In before minimum wage launched, the average wage of fast food restaurant workers is extremely low, most of the fast food restaurant offer the workers with less than $20 per hour. Besides pay for a low wage to workers, long working hour and mechanized steps in the fast food industry also reflect exploitation on the workers. As the capitalists treat labor as a product, they want to use this product to gain profit as much and fast as it can. On one hand they reduce the wage of workers, on the other hand the want to increase the rate of getting reward. They therefore encourage their workers to work overtime. Since the wages are too low that workers can not even earn a living for their family, they must need to work longer to fulfill the needs. The research conducted by HKCTU in 2006 showed that the maximum working hour for fast food shop workers may up to 10 hours per day, but still they not earn enough for their family. Overtime working had already...
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