Fast Food Wage Strikes Planned For This Week

Dec 2, 2013


Fast-food workers are planning to stage one-day strikes and protest activities in 200 American cities Thursday in hopes of building support for increasing their wages to $15 an hour.

In America, people who work hard should be able to afford basic needs like groceries, rent, childcare and transportation, organizers say. Advocates for hiking the minimum wage argue that while fast food corporations reap the benefits of record profits, workers are barely getting by —  many rely on public assistance despite having a job. Mark Dunlea with the Hunger Action Network says most fast-food workers subsist on poverty-level wages.

A young movement of low-wage workers fighting for a better future seeks a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food employees say they will sponsor one-day strikes in 100 cities on Thursday and protest activities in 100 additional cities. They are targeting fast-food establishments including McDonald's and Burger King.

The Hunger Action Network also has issues with the new corporate minimum-wage tax credit granted to companies like McDonald's and WalMart under which taxpayers subsidize wages of some 75-thousand teenage workers, many from middle class families. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office estimated the cost to taxpayers at $230 million for the first four years of the credit, 2014 to 2017.

Dunlea adds New York City is one of the epicenters of the higher wage movement. He says they expect as many as 10-thousand people to participate in the December 5th rally.  Dan Moran, president and founder of career transition management firm Next-Act of Colonie, warns of economic repercussions should base wages of fast-food workers rise.

Fast Food Forward dot org believes that raising pay for fast food workers will benefit workers and strengthen the overall economy. A spokesman for the group would not go on mic: she says the New York City-based organization is not releasing a full list of the cities involved in the upcoming action to avoid giving "employers a roadmap to the day this far in advance."