Culture

The Woman From The Viral Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Worker Meme Shut Down The Laughs With Her Reply About Unfair Wages

Last week, Twitter exploded with the Chicken Sandwich Wars between Popeye’s newest menu addition and Chic-fil-A’s classic options. Black Twitter shared stories of long lines to get the sandwiches and flooded the social media site with news of sandwich shortages. The restaurants’ social media handles even joined in, throwing causal shade at each other. From there, it didn’t take long for the memes to start. Memes about the Chicken Sandwich Wars beef and the public’s reaction to sandwich shortages were quickly shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

The hype is real and it’s been huge for Popeye’s, but one meme to emerge from social media has proved to be straight-up offensive.

In a now-deleted tweet, a Twitter user shared an image of an exhausted Popeye’s employee during her break and asked the Internet to turn it into a meme. 

Instagram / @6ixn8ne

While there has been plenty of comedic content around the Chicken Sandwich Wars, this image points out the very human aspect of this capitalistic push. While Popeye’s makes bank off of the mania surrounding their new sandwiches, their employees are facing an increase in labor without increased financial compensation. 

The hourly pay rate at Popeye’s ranges, on average, from $7.29 to $12.33 an hour depending on state minimum wage. With all the free online hype that Black Twitter has given this sandwich, Popeye’s has received about $23 Million in free press. Obviously, the chicken chain has benefitted financially from this exchange but has made no move to compensate the workers who are making it possible. The unfair division of work and profit is very obvious and is nothing to joke about. 

Twitter wasn’t feeling this call to meme-ify the exhausted employee pic.   

Twitter / @DanaVivianWhite

Twitter user @DanaVivianWhite summed up exactly why this attempt to meme this situation is in such poor taste. As her tweet suggests, this worker likely spends a whole 8-hour shift on her feet without the benefits of vacation time or even a livable wage. The instinct to dehumanize her pain and turn it into a mock-able Internet moment is a grossly inappropriate one and it shows the lack of sensitivity that people have towards service workers and the suffering of Black women in particular.  

Other users pointed out the irony of this image circulating on the Internet during Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. 

Twitter / @portia_bartley

The exhausted female worker meme came into being around the same time as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day — a day when we reflect on the wide wage gap that Black women face. Other than Latinas, Black women are the most unequally paid group. It takes an additional 8 months for the pay that Black women receive to equal what their male counterparts make in a year. For this meme to be introduced to the Internet on the same day as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is not only shameful, it’s completely insensitive to the struggles of these women. 

Instead of making this woman into a meme, energy should be put into helping her and treating her like a human being.

Twitter / @DanaVivianWhite

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the people we see on the Internet are real and are experiencing real pain. They are entitled to compassion and respect especially this woman. Instead of making her exhaustion and labor into a joke, we should use it as a motivator to fight for greater wages and benefits for overworked employees. This picture is not meme material but it should be shared as a reminder that these employees deserve much more than they are getting.

This woman isn’t the only one to feel the exhaustion of the demands being put on Popeye’s workers.  

Twitter / @whyslexmad

Service workers are some of the most disrespected employees and Popeye’s employees are getting an extra serving of abuse from frustrated customers. Abusing overworked, underpaid food workers is disgraceful. It is not their job to take the disrespect of their customers. No one is paid enough to deal with this. 

These employees don’t have options. Often, they aren’t able to look for another job if they are unhappy with their current one. Workers like the exhausted woman are stuck in their situation but it is one that they don’t deserve. We don’t have to make it worse by denying their pain and turning their suffering into entertainment. 

The new Popeye’s sandwich might be delicious but it’s not worth the human struggles. If the chicken chain doesn’t soon find a way to compensate their workers for their labor, they will see a backlash from employees and concerned customers and they will lose the Chicken Sandwich Wars. 

Dunkin’ Donuts Is Suing Franchise Owners In An Attack Against Undocumented Immigrants

Culture

Dunkin’ Donuts Is Suing Franchise Owners In An Attack Against Undocumented Immigrants

If you think the Starbucks vs Dunkin’ Donuts game wasn’t already polarizing, America’s coffee choices just got politicized. Dunkin’ Donuts Franchising LLC filed a complaint in a Delaware federal court on June 24, alleging two of its franchise owners have violated federal immigration law and their stores should be shut down. This complaint was against Thomas Sheehan and Kenneth Larson, who run nine stores in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. It isn’t the first time Dunkin’ sued its own franchise owners for this reason.

Dunkin’ sent termination letters to 14 stores in New Jersey and Virginia and then filed a suit against them in April.

According to Dunkin’, it was a customer complaint that sparked this wave of suits.

Credit: dunkin / Instagram

It then began a ten month review period which found hundreds of employee records with incomplete, unverified or falsified I-9 forms. Those I-9 forms are what authorize a person to legally work in the United States. The company also uses an electronic system called “E-Verify.”

Dunkin’ started using E-Verify in 2006, when only government agencies were using the system.

Credit: dunkin / Instagram

Two years later, the company began investing in lobbying efforts for immigration reform. It even hired an outside firm to lobby on immigration in 2017. It filed 100 similar lawsuits in 2006 and 2007 alone. The suits filed in the last couple of months are primarily citing its franchise owners for not using E-Verify.

One Delaware franchise owner has countersued Dunkin’.

Credit: @TheRucasJohnson / Twitter

They’re claiming they were given no opportunity to “correct the violations” and suspect Dunkin’ is just trying to resell their stores for greater profit. Kind of like when your landlord stops caring about keeping you around so that they can hike up the rent.

Labor lawyers are saying that patrolling immigration status has never been a targeted issue in franchises.

Credit: @MercurialMiss / Twitter

Dunkin’ is leading the way in pushing immigrant supporters from wanted to run on Dunkin’. Of course, folks are starting to #BoycottDunkin.

Those who support making life harder for undocumented folks are pledging allegiance to Dunkin’ Donuts.

Credit: @JamesonCal / Twitter

Some business analysts suspect Dunkin’ is simply making a play at reselling its franchises for profit by pushing owners out. Others imagine Dunkin’ is just trying to protect its own business by avoiding the potential for labor violation fines. Pesky customer complaints.

Last year, new CEO Dave Hoffman said hiring workers on work-study visas was “critical” for the company.

Credit: @dunkindonuts / Twitter

So the move could mean that it’s trying to show the federal government that it’s a lawful employer, in hopes that it would make receiving more legal work visas probable. That was said around the time that 7/11 avoided its own labor violation fines by assisting ICE with raiding nearly 100 stores. 7/11 stated that the franchises, not the company, were responsible for following labor laws.

Regardless, the move has acted as a dog whistle on Twitter.

Credit: @NookAppolloni / Twitter

Sorry, @NookAppolloni, the move would be destroying hundreds of lives in the Northeast 💯.  The lawsuit targets stores in that area so the wish for California is kind of uneducated. With the inhumane conditions in detention centers and the increased privatization of said centers, it’s likely the most dangerous time to be an undocumented worker in the United States. 

Hypocrisy looks like knowing that Trump’s businesses employ undocumented workers without fear of consequence.

Credit: @JeffFromNH / Twitter

Being undocumented is not a gift or cheating the system. It is a burden to be someone who is more financially and socially vulnerable. Living undocumented means that, while on a quest for a better life, you have to forfeit basic human rights and live in fear that your employer might do something like this.

So, to the Latinx couple that found a screw in their Dunkin’ bagel this week, take it as a metaphor for what they are doing to undocumented people.

Credit: @Chris27Garcia / Twitter

Whatever the business motive is, the move is complicit in the inhumane detention of immigrants. A Jewish Holocaust historian coined the term, “the banality of evil,” which insinuates that evil doesn’t exist in a single mind alone. In order for it to be carried out, it must become pedestrian, seeped into a fabric of society until it is accepted.

READ: New Report Shows ICE Using DMV Data To Track People As Undocumented People Get Drivers Licenses

Snoop Dog Just Called The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team ‘Sorry’ And Is Demanding Equal Pay For The Women’s Team

Entertainment

Snoop Dog Just Called The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team ‘Sorry’ And Is Demanding Equal Pay For The Women’s Team

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team deserve every ounce of praise and glory. Yesterday’s incredible 2-0 win against the Netherlands, made them World Cup champions once again and brought the women a tremendous amount of support both as fantastic players and as passionate activists for women’s rights. The U.S. Women’s team has taken on a legal battle, complaining to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, against their employer the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination, and they’re demanding equal pay. So what will it take? They certainly have support from their fans. If you missed yesterday’s game, here’s a short recap: after the women scored their winning goal and everyone was celebrating on the field, the crowd at the stadium in Lyon, France began to chant “equal pay” — so there’s no hiding the appalling disparity now.

There’s even more support for the women’s team as major sponsorships is putting these female athletes on a massive center stage.  

Fresh off the heels of a great championship game, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team is now the star of a new Nike ad that is resonating with feminists everywhere. 

Nike Youtube.com

The commercial is dramatically cool with its black-and-white aesthetic and features star players including Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher, Tobin Heath, and of course, Megan Rapinoe. A woman’s voice in the ad says, “I believe that we will be four-time champions and keep winning until we not only become the best female soccer team but the best soccer team in the world. And that a whole generation of girls and boys will go out and play and say things like, ‘I want to be like Megan Rapinoe when I grow up,’ and that they’ll be inspired to talk and win and stand up for themselves.”

The empowering commercial also touches on the women’s team’s demand for equal pay.

Nike Youtube.com

The team has made it no secret that they’re suing the U.S. soccer for gender discrimination. According to Glamour, “the women’s team made $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team did last year—while making four times less.” The U.S. Men’s team has never won a World Cup. And this fight for equal pay isn’t new. 

“I think that we’ve proven our worth over the years,” Carli Lloyd, the 2015 FIFA women’s player of the year, said in an interview on NBC’s Today show back in 2016. “Just coming off of a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large.” Four years later, nothing has changed. Perhaps this second-consecutive World Cup win and the new Nike commercial will help improve things for good.

The ad is aimed to inspire young girls and boys alike, as well as soccer fans new and old.

Nike Youtube.com

“I believe that we will make our voices heard, and TV shows will be talking about us every single day and not just once every four years,” the ad continues. “And that women will conquer more than just the soccer field by breaking every single glass ceiling and having their faces carved on Mount Rushmore; and that we’ll be fighting not just to make history, but to change it—forever.”

If naysayers need another reason to argue that the women’s soccer team doesn’t bring in as much money as the men’s (which is not true), here’s another indicator that they’re wrong:

The women’s Nike jersey is outselling the men’s.

Nike Youtube.com

“The USA women’s home jersey is now the number one soccer jersey — men’s or women’s — ever sold on Nike.com in one season,” Nike CEO Mark Parker said in the company’s earnings call, according to the Women In The World News

Fans on social media are praising Nike for their latest ad.

Perfect timing, right?

Even Snoop Dog called out the equal pay injustice the women’s team has long endured.

In a post to his Instagram page, the rapper broke down why he thought it was unfair for the women’s team to be paid less than the men’s saying “Food for thought. Shout out to the USA Women’s Soccer Team for their fourth World Cup, but what I want to talk about is that they only get $90,000 per player, but the men, if they win, they get $500,000 per player.”

It’s almost as if Nike knew the U.S. women’s team was going to win. But didn’t we all?

Perfect words for a perfect team that deserves a raise. 

If you didn’t get emotional watching that… you have no heart!

This team has done so much for the sport. 

What is there left to say but “Equal pay! Equal pay!”

The women’s team is still under litigation, but we will definitely be ready for that final ruling that says these women must get equal pay — or more, especially as returning World Cup champions. 

Nike strikes again with another powerful commercial.

Oh, it was us too. We couldn’t stop with tears. We were cheering and crying at the same time!

Here’s the entire commercial below.

Let us know what you think of the ad.