Wendy’s fast food restaurant chain says it will begin offering self-serve kiosks at its 6,000-plus locations across America, making them available to costumers by the end of 2016.The fast food giant’s decision to move toward automation comes just as “Fight for $15”–a progressive protest movement, pushing minimum wage hikes–is applying pressure on state governments to raise wages for low-skilled fast food workers. Last August, Wendy’s CFO Todd Penegor told investors that mandated wage hikes will cause his company to pursue other innovative avenues that could lead to fewer jobs for low-skill workers. “We continue to look at initiatives and how we work to offset any impacts of future wage inflation through technology initiatives, whether that’s customer self-order kiosks, whether that’s automating more in the back of the house in the restaurant,” Penegor said, adding that “you’ll see a lot more coming on that front later this year from us.” On the same conference call, Wendy’s CEO Emil Brolick said that individual Wendy’s franchises “will likely look at the opportunity to reduce overall staff, look at the opportunity to certainly reduce hours and any other cost reduction opportunities, not just price.” The fight for $15 is turning into perhaps America's biggest layoff in history. People who don't understand basic economics, must understand $15 will just force companies around the country to legally lay people off from work. The fight for $15 is turning into what Americans have been warning about since the movement started, and that's mass company layoffs with robot replacements. This isn't just happening in the states of CA and NY, this is happening nationwide at the fast food chain. We warned these people about mass layoffs if $15 an hour would occur and they choose not to listen. The people who pushed for $15 an hour welcome to your zero dollar paycheck.
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