Fast-food diners in New York City today might’ve been greeted with a smaller staff than usual, as the “Fast Food Forward” campaign said strikes were scheduled at franchises around the city to protest low wages for employees. Striking workers want to up their hourly pay from the minimum of $7.25 to almost double, $15 and to demand the right to form a union.
Organizers of the campaign are calling it the largest attempt to unionize fast-food workers, reports Reuters, with protests staged at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and Domino’s restaurants today.
New York Communities for Change has tossed its hat in the ring to help, after being involved in unionizing attempts by low-wage carwash and grocery workers in New York.
At least 14 employees, only three of whom weren’t supposed to work that day, walked off the job at a Midtown McDonald’s this morning, says Reuters. Organizers expected hundreds of other workers at dozens of locations to do the same.
“We’re asking for basic needs,” said one Wendy’s worker who earns $7.25 an hour, 30 to 40 hours a week. He adds that he just wants to be able to afford his rent and buy life’s basic necessities.
Critics of raising the minimum wage include a former McDonald’s franchise director and restaurant owner. He’s now the guy who advises the company’s franchisees, and thinks that raising pay will cause popular menu items to disappear, calling $15 per hour “an insane increase,” and tossing in, “There goes the Dollar Menu.”
How very dramatic, eh? Surely there must be some way to ensure human beings are earning a livable wage while also maintaining the right to buy fast food on the cheap.