"In the future, McDonald's Corporation will not use our resources, including lobbyists or staff, to oppose minimum wage increases at the federal, regional or local level" said Genna Gent, Vice President of US Government Relations for the company. "We will not participate in the defense efforts of associations designed specifically to defeat salary increases."
The association said in a statement: "Our members are as diverse as the communities they serve and the economies of each region are different."
The average starting salary of employees at company-owned stores exceeds $ 10 an hour, Gent added, adding that McDonald's was not setting wages in franchises.
Many companies are raising their salaries to beat regulations and hire and retain their employees. Workers are less attracted to low-wage jobs in a labor market where the unemployment rate is less than 4%.
In the letter, Gent touted various McDonald's policies that could prove attractive to workers, such as paid holidays and flexible schedules, among others.
McDonald's has long been the target of wage increase activists. The Fight for 15, which is organizing demonstrations and lobbied companies to increase their minimum hourly wage to $ 15, has pushed McDonald's to make a change.
For some labor advocates, including Senator Bernie Sanders, this initiative is a step in the right direction.
"It's a win for thousands of workers," wrote Sanders in a tweet in response to the news. "We will continue to fight until McDonald's workers and everyone else gets a minimum wage of at least $ 15 at the hour," he added. .
"This is a welcome statement," said Tsedeye Gebreselassie, senior counsel for the National Employment Law Project. She noted that while advocates support raising the minimum wage at the national and US levels, lobbying the industry against change has been a "stumbling block".
"There is less opposition on the part of the industry … it will make it even easier to exceed some of these increases," she said.