WASHINGTON – Fast-food giant McDonald’s will raise its U.S. employees’ wages by more than 10 percent, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
McDonald’s, in the face of ever greater pressure from unions to improve the situation of its workers, will increase the pay only of employees at restaurants the firm itself owns, excluding all its franchises.
The move affects 1,500 restaurants around the United States employing some 90,000 people, a small fraction of the total of 14,350 McDonald’s establishments throughout the country.
The firm said that the franchises are free to establish their own salary and wage policies.
McDonald’s will also compensate its employees who have been with the company for more than a year with five days of annual paid vacation, a benefit that did not exist until now for those workers.
The first wage hike is slated to come on July 1, when workers will begin earning $9.90 per hour, on average, and the company said that wages will rise to $10 per hour at the end of 2016.
Currently, the average pay for workers at the fast-food chain is $9.01 per hour.
With Wednesday’s announcement, McDonald’s follows the lead of retail behemoth Wal-Mart, which also announced a pay hike for its employees to $10 per hour.