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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Where's the beef? Fast-food workers in walkout to protest low wages

Posted by on Jul. 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM
  • 184 Replies
  • mcdonalds661.jpg

    Employees at fast-food restaurants like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC in seven cities nationwide are staging one-day strikes on Monday, calling for higher wages. (AP/Seth Perlman)


Don’t expect to have it your way today at some fast-food restaurants across the country.

Workers at the nation’s best known fast-food restaurants in seven cities across America are planning to walk off the job Monday to protest what they say are wages that are too low to live on. In a move orchestrated with the help of powerful labor unions and clergy groups, the workers plan to strike for a day to demand their wages be doubled.

The Washington Post reports that the protests will take place in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Flint, Mich., involving workers at McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC. Some employees at stores including Dollar Tree, Macy's and Victoria's Secret are also expected to join the protesters in several cities.

The workers are calling for wages of $15 per hour, more than double New York's current minimum wage of $7.25.

A network of local community groups, clergy and unions, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), are backing the strike.

“SEIU members, like all service-sector workers, are worse off when large fast-food and retail companies are able to hold down wages and push benefit standards for working people,” Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, told the Washington Post.

In New York City, the protests were organized by a group called Fast Food Forward, which states its Twitter account: "No one can survive on $7.25."

"A lot of the workers are living in poverty, you know, not being able to afford to put food on the table or take the train to work," Fast Food Forward director Jonathan Westin told CBS New York. "The workers are striking over the fact that they can’t continue to maintain their families on the wages they’re being paid in the fast-food industry."

The group posted a photograph on its Twitter account early Monday depicting workers who have “walked out” in New York.

Fast-food workers in New York City earn an average salary of $11,000 annually. That’s less than half of the average daily salary — $25,000 — for most fast-food restaurant CEOs. Employees in the $200 billion industry make 25 percent of the money they need to survive in New York City while working at fast-food restaurants, according to the group’s website.

As of early Monday, more than 120,000 people have signed Fast Food Forward's online petition calling for higher wages in the industry.

Robert Wilson, Jr., a 25-year-old McDonald’s employee in Chicago, told The Washington Post that he makes $8.60 an hour after seven years on the job. A previous walkout in April led to “small victories,” he said, including additional hours and slight raises.

“I’m not really concerned about losing my job,” Wilson told The Washington Post. “If I don’t get anything, I am in a lose-lose situation. I can still get fired at any time.”

Industry representatives, meanwhile, say that most fast-food restaurants operate on a meager profit margin, making it impossible to increase employee wages. But a report issued last week by the National Employment Law Project seemingly refutes part of that assertion, as fewer than one in 50 jobs in fast-food restaurants are managerial. And becoming a franchise owner requires the better part of $1 million in some cases, making that option out of reach for the overwhelming majority of workers.


by on Jul. 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM
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Replies (1-10):
candlegal
by Judy on Jul. 29, 2013 at 3:47 PM
9 moms liked this

I wonder if they realize how many thousands of people would be happy to take their jobs.

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Jul. 29, 2013 at 3:49 PM

This is a company that provides excellent training and great opportunities for internal promotions (with training.)

I think they might like to look elsewhere (maybe mom&pop stores that there is never going to be any hope of any kind of promotion or raises...) for their righteous indignation...

MrsSamMerlotte
by Bronze Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 3:51 PM
6 moms liked this
15 an hour for fast food? Hahahaha
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
candlegal
by Judy on Jul. 29, 2013 at 3:51 PM
1 mom liked this

This is all about the unions, they don't care about any of these people.   They just want more paying union dues.

KelliansMom
by Bronze Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 3:55 PM
2 moms liked this
My sister has worked for McDonald's since high school and through college. It's not that great of a job. They put up with some much shit from customers and other co workers. They do deserve more pay then what they get now. But that being said with the amount of money those places bring in daily they can't around that big of raise for every employee.
candlegal
by Judy on Jul. 29, 2013 at 4:01 PM
3 moms liked this

No one is being forced to stay there.   If they don't like it, they need to move on to another job.

Quoting KelliansMom:

My sister has worked for McDonald's since high school and through college. It's not that great of a job. They put up with some much shit from customers and other co workers. They do deserve more pay then what they get now. But that being said with the amount of money those places bring in daily they can't around that big of raise for every employee.


snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 4:14 PM
10 moms liked this

You rarely see teenagers in fast food jobs.  The people taking these jobs are the working poor.  They work very hard and deserve to be able to support themselves

In NYC the cost of living is much higher than almost anywhere else. 

parentalrights1
by on Jul. 29, 2013 at 4:16 PM
The wages aren't the problem. The way they treat them is

They will give you as few hours as humanly possible and no sick days. Some managers are ass wipes that try to pink slip employees for anything in order to make them lose eligibility for a raise

But much of the time, the employees are terrible too
littlelamb303
by Bronze Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 4:17 PM
2 moms liked this

In NYC(as well as Long Island where I live) you need to have an income of  125k to be considered middle class.  $15 an hour is still poverty wages .. I am unsure of the cost of living in those other areas, but I doubt it comes close to the cost of living here.

littlelamb303
by Bronze Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 4:19 PM
8 moms liked this

also, those that want to put down fast workers suck.  I did that job at 16 yrs old, and it is not easy(cleaning bathrooms and the messes people would make in them were HORRIBLE).. I am tired of people thinking they are better than these workers or any low paying job as a matter of fact.

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