McDonald’s might finally have figured out that paying its low-wage workers more would actually be a good thing for McDonald’s.

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson recently suggested his company would support a bill, proposed by President Barack Obama, raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from $7.25. Such a wage hike likely wouldn’t satisfy his workers, some of whom recently stormed the company’s Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters demanding $15 an hour. But it would be a noticeable shift in attitude for the world’s biggest restaurant chain, which has so far been neutral as the debate about higher wages has roiled around it.

“You know, our franchisees look at me when I say this and they start to worry: ‘Don, don’t you say it. Don’t you say we support $10.10,’” Thompson said during a little-noticed talk at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management last month, according to a Chicago Tribune report. “I will tell you we will support legislation that moves forward.”

Thompson, who made $9.5 million last year, has been on the defensive about worker pay since at least last July, when the news media discovered McDonald’s had a financial-advice website for its employees (no longer available) recommending they get second jobs and not turn on their heat.

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