Penny foolish

There are five Burger King restaurants in the Truckee Meadows, but before using them, consider this: The Burger King Corporation is resisting a plan by McDonalds and other fast food restaurants to increase the pay of Florida farm workers.

The restaurants don’t employ the workers, who pick tomatoes. But they wanted to supplement the amount paid by farmers. Farm workers are paid about 45 cents per 32-pound bucket of produce they pick, an amount that hasn’t changed in two decades or more. There are serious charges of human slavery being made, and actual criminal charges of trafficking in humans have been brought by the U.S. Justice Department.

McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut agreed to add on a penny a pound. But Burger King broke ranks, prompting the growers association to threaten fines against growers who cooperate with the McDonald’s group. How reactionary does a corporation have to be in order for McDonald’s to be the progressive force?