With Obamacare due to be fully implemented in January 2014, Metz has justified his move by claiming it is 'the only alternative. I've got to pass on the cost to the customer. The fast-food business owner is set to hold meetings at his restaurants in December where he will tell employees, 'that because of Obamacare, we are going to be cutting front-of-the-house employees to under 30 hours, effective immediately.' Claiming that he is not anti-insurance Metz has said that he understands the problems this will cause for his employees. 'I think it's a terrible thing. It's ridiculous that the maximum hours we can give people is 28 hours a week instead of 40,' said Metz to the Huffington Post. 'It's going to force my employees to go out and get a second job.'
Obamacare requires businesses or franchises with more than 50 workers must offer an approved insurance plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker over 30 workers. The program mandates that only employees working more than 30 hours a week are covered under their employers health insurance plan, chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster are already considering reduced worker hours.
'Obviously, I'd love to cover all our employees under that insurance,' said Metz. But to pay $5,000 per employee would cost us $175,000 per restaurant and unfortunately, most of our restaurants don't make $175,000 a year. I can't afford it.'But wait, there's more:
Darden [Restaurants, the Florida-based parent company of Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster, and other chains] announced last month that it would begin shifting full-time workers to part-time status to save money, cut health costs, and circumvent Obamacare's coverage mandate scheduled for full implementation in 2014. The move would reduce full-time employees' hours to less than 30 hours a week; part-time workers are exempt from the insurance mandate. McDonald's, another big Obamacare-waiver recipient, is considering the same move.I would chuckle if my heart were not so heavy about the creeping Euro-style socialism and iron fist-velvet glove Soviet-style attitudes toward religious conviction embedded in Obamacare. Whodathunkit that the businesses mandated by market-distorting government force to "provide" more health care coverage would have to pass on the increased costs to their customers and reduce their employee's hours to avoid the Obamacare penalties imposed by Washington central planners/fantasizers--just to stay in business?
In fact, a survey of members of the Chain Restaurant Compensation Association (CRCA) conducted last year by Hay Group reported that a whopping 77 percent of "quick serve" restaurant operators said they were considering reducing employee hours to change the employees' status from full-time to part-time. At least one Denny's restaurant franchise owner in Florida is cutting hours and has openly contemplated an Obamacare surcharge on meal prices. Jimmy John's and Papa John's are also slashing work hours. Applebee's is mulling a freeze on both hiring and expansion.
Of course, the person that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on Paul's support:
"There's no such thing as a free lunch" is a race-neutral truth. But economically illiterate Obama supporters have now called for boycotts of these businesses and accused them of vengeful "racism" against the president. Instead of sympathy and gratitude for private businesses trying to do right by their workers, customers, and shareholders, the corporate-bashers inundated Twitter this week with profanity-laced condemnations of the restaurant-service industry. One protester tweeted: "@Applebees Your CEO is a racist piece of [redacted], he['s] not hiring because Obama was elected . . . U WILL LOSE CUSTOMERS."It has been said, in a somewhat facile fashion, that Democrats are the "mommy party" and Republicans are the "daddy party". The Mommy Party focuses on caring, nurturing, sharing, and supporting, and doesn't really think hard about where the money comes from. In fact, Daddy is "mean" when he questions where the money comes from. The Daddy Party, while wanting its "children" to be cared for, also wants them to be independent and self-sufficient. Moreover, the Daddy Party has its eyes on the bottom line, and wonders where the money to underwrite all this expensive compassion will come from.
"Red Lobster, Olive Garden [are] using Obama re-election as an excuse to deny employees benefits and living wages," Jon Marquis fumed. Twitter user Daphine Walker sent unhinged, ungrammatical messages to Red Lobster and Olive Garden in all-caps: "I WILL NEVER SPEND ANOTHER CENT ON THIS RACIST COMPANY WHO DOESNT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THEIR EMPLOYEES."
The CEO of Red Lobster and Olive Garden is black. But no matter. Regardless of the actual facts, economic realities, and entirely predictable and inevitable consequences of command-and-control government mandates, it's always about identity politics for the Obama grievance mob
Well now we know. Interesting that, in this case, much to the chagrin of the clients of the Mommy Party, the cost of the free lunch boomeranged back on those who demanded it in the first place.
UPDATE: After this post was written, management of Hostess, maker of TEOTWAWKI-proof Twinkies and other not-so-healthy confections, opted to liquidate the company in the face of presumedly unreasonable compensation demands made by the confectioner's union. Interesting how insulated ideologically based demands for a free lunch are from economics...and more than 18,000 workers are jobless as a result.