Fast-Food Workers to Strike
Minimum-wage protest follows last week’s Walmart walkout
NEW YORK -- Fast-food workers in 100 cities are expected to walk off their jobs Thursday in a rally aimed at bringing attention to the minimum wage. The third such demonstration in about a year, these strikes are part of a growing fast-food worker movement that started when 200 workers in New York City went on strike last November.
Workers are expected to go on strike in every region of the continental United States and will be joined by supporters rallying in an additional 100 cities as the fight for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation continues to grow. Workers are expected to strike at the nation’s major national fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines in cities from Oakland, Calif., to Tampa, Fla., as concern grows that low wages are hurting families and communities across the country, according to strike organizers.
“Our country’s fastest-growing jobs are also the lowest paid, slowing the recovery and hurting our local economy,” organizers stated in a press release. “While the fast-food industry is making record profits, its workers are forced to rely on public assistance--to the tune of 7 billion taxpayer dollars each year--just to afford the basics.”
The movement has grown steadily since the first New York City strike on Nov. 29, with strikes spreading to seven cities in the spring and fast-food workers in 60 cities going on strike on Aug. 29. This is the latest in an escalating series of walkouts and protests by workers across the country. Last week, more than 100 workers and supporters were arrested as thousands of Walmart workers protested at 1,500 stores nationwide on Black Friday, calling for Walmart to publicly commit to paying $25,000 a year, providing full-time work and ending illegal retaliation.