Fight for 15 was excited when Bloomberg News covered Tyree Johnson’s 20-year career as a low-wage worker. “The Tale of Two McDonald’s” is a story that needs nationwide attention. The fast food company pays a CEO that more than $8 million a year while paying hardworking people a wage they can’t live on.
Yesterday, the prestigious Sidney Hillman Foundation honored Bloomberg’s Leslie Patton their Sidney award saying:
Leslie Patton of Bloomberg News wins the January Sidney Award for a hard-hitting joint profile of a McDonald’s fry cook and the company’s CEO. This “Tale of Two McDonald’s” shows how the explosive growth of fast food has generated fat profits for executives and shareholders but left workers behind.
“As a reporter who covers fast food, Patton showed great courage in telling such a hard-hitting story about one of the most powerful players on her beat,” said Sidney judge Lindsay Beyerstein.
The foundation announces a winner each month for an outstanding socially-conscious piece of journalism. The award aims to encourage investigative journalism nurtures social and economic justice. In an interview with Leslie to follow up on the story:
Your story is a tale of two McDonald’s: You profile a fry cook and the CEO of the company side-by-side. How did you decide on this format, and how does the structure advance the story?
“The tale of two McDonald’s method is a vivid way to capture the growing disparity between front-line, low-wage workers and the people and companies that employ them. The fact that Thompson and Johnson both spent some of their childhood near Chicago’s Cabrini Green public-housing project underscores the differences in their opportunities and how their lives have turned out.
Leslie says McDonald’s has not responded to her story despite widespread–and viral–interest in the story.
We congratulate Leslie Patton on the award and hope she continues to shine a spotlight on the inequality facing low-wage fast food workers.