New San Francisco billboard warns workers they’ll be replaced by iPads if they demand a fair wage

IMAG0016Pando – by Paul Carr

Walking home from Pando’s office a few nights ago, I noticed this giant new billboard…

Its message — that minimum wage increases will lead to service workers being replaced by apps — is continued on an accompanying website — BadIdeaCA — which claims to be “holding activists accountable for minimum wage consequences.”  

So who the hell pays for billboards threatening waitstaff with redundancy if they demand a living wage? A bit of digging and clicking reveals that the campaign is backed by Employment Policies Institute, the conservative lobbying group which regularly campaigns on behalf of the restaurant industry.

Followers of Pando’s Techtopus might remember the Institute for one of its key advisers, Kevin Murphy, aka “the man Silicon Valley’s CEOs turn to when they want to justify screwing workers“. As Mark Ames explained back in February…

[W]hen the heads of companies like Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft and others, are called upon to explain why it’s okay to screw over employees—or their consumers—they know exactly who to call…

…Murphy has a long history of trying to convince courts that workers are not being screwed and that dominant monopoly corporations are good citizens, despite evidence to the contrary.

It’s somehow grossly fitting that a group which argues for screwing service staff — and which is advised by a guy who tells companies like Apple that it’s ok to screw their workers — is now posting ads in San Francisco saying that service staff deserve to be replaced by iPads if they demand a fair wage.


Paul Carr is editorial director of Pando. Previously he was founder and editor in chief of NSFWCORP.

6 thoughts on “New San Francisco billboard warns workers they’ll be replaced by iPads if they demand a fair wage

  1. london bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.

    I demand $ min wage. Oh and 50 weeks paid vacation/yr.

    I wonder when ‘lazy’ will become a ‘disorder’ to which it will be criminal to fire a person for it.

    This reply doesnt make sense to me either.

  2. Strange how people do not think such thing will happen; not that I expect many people to think things through in a reasonable way.

    Is it just expected the corporations will simply pay the higher wage out of their profits?

    Far fetched. They pass the expense along to maintain their profits. This (obviously) results in higher prices of goods & services. Things as (increased if already existing) automation where possible will spring up putting some out of work. Less hours for employees requiring more to be done in less time and so on.

    Sure, most people like higher earnings but so few ever consider thinking of where the added Dollars come from and results thereafter. This is not something limited to liberals…

  3. This is nothing. Wait till they start mass producing robots the same way they mass produce I-Pads and computers. Then we will ALL be unemployed including the illegal immigrants invading our country.

  4. why hasn’t that billboard been vandalized?

    if they can replace humans with iPads, I guess they’re replaceable too. Off with their heads, and we’ll see who gets replaced.

  5. Who will buy their products if everyone is replaced by an ipad and has no income? Henry Ford understood that his employees were some of his best customers. I imagine they also promoted his product. I doubt if many employees are doing that today, they usually trash their company’s products and services. Most conservatives consider themselves Christians and I’m pretty sure there is something in the Bible about paying people fairly.

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