According to a study released on Oct. 22 by the University of California’s Berkeley Labor Center and the University of Illinois, more than half the nation’s fast food workers rely on public aid because their wages are not sufficient to support them. Fifty-two percent of families of fast food workers receive assistance from public programs like Medicaid, food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the report said, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $7 billion each year. A separate report criticized fast food giants McDonald’s, Yum! Brands, Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Dairy Queen, Little Caesar’s, Sonic and Domino’s for pushing their workers onto the public safety net. The National Employment Law Project said that these 10 largest fast food companies were responsible for more than half the total cost to taxpayers—about $3.8 billion a year. McDonald’s alone was responsible for $1.2 billion.
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