While many companies are boasting record profits, those increases are rarely felt by employees.
In an article from November 2020, CNBC reported on a Brookings Institute report that claimed: “While [13 of the biggest retailers in the U.S.] in the report made an average of 39% more in profit this year compared to 2019, pay for their essential workers increased by just 10% on average, or $1.11 per hour, over the course of the pandemic.”
This trend continued into 2022, with the “real average hourly earnings down 3.6 percent over the 12 months ending June 2022,” per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In lieu of wage increases, many workers report that their employers are offering them other perks — most notably, pizza. Now, a user on TikTok has gone viral after making a joke about this very topic.
In a video with over 3.2 million views, TikTok user @feloniousfalafel portrays a skit in which an executive is bragging about record earnings for the company.
“Guys, exciting news. In this quarter, we have profited more than we ever have as a company,” someone off-screen starts. “We have broken so many records, guys, and it’s all because of y’all—”
“So, can we get a raise?” @feloniousfalafel interjects.
“Ah, nah, man. You see, in this economy, man… Everybody’s hurting now and we’re, we’re not immune to that,” the ‘other’ voice answers. “Don’t just think ‘cuz we’re a big business that we’re immune to — we’re hurting, too. But we’re going to reward y’all! We’re going to definitely reward y’all.”
After a pause, @feloniousfalafel asks, “Is it pizza?”
“Yeah, yeah, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be some pizza, man. It’s gonna be a pizza pie,” the voice responds.
In the comments section, numerous users voiced their frustrations about the relatability of the video.
“Bro when I was at dominos we did a record week almost 50k and we were given a free can of Pepsi out of the fridge as an award for the hard work,” claimed one user.
“I worked at a company that said they made the most sales ever and then turned around and said that we weren’t getting our yearly bonus,” alleged another.
“Dawg it’s legit like this for the co. I work for now,” stated a third. “Emails about record breaking profits etc. but they did give us a raise.. of 20 cents.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to @feloniousfalafel via email.
Update 3:34pm Oct. 30, 2022: In an email to Daily Dot, @feloniousfalafel shared his thoughts on why the video connected with so many people.
“The video is so relatable because a good amount of employers don’t care about their employees,” he noted. As for how workers can feel better compensated for their work, @feloniousfalafel says the answer is simple.
“This can obviously be fixed by paying people more,” he wrote. “In a time where companies are making record profits and inflation is rising far past the (25 cent a year) cost of living raise that most people get, it’s insulting to offer someone any kind food product as a reward. Especially to people working 60+ hours a week. Obviously, you have enough work to increase someone’s wage.”