Just over a year ago, fast food workers at restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC and more walked off the job in 60 cities in an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Today that effort continues with workers expected to strike in more than 100 cities.
Along with members of their communities and labor organizers, workers will be marching outside the restaurants where they work across the country, with the strike’s coordinators touting a 100-city plan.
Things kicked off this morning with strikes starting early, including 100 protestors who blew whistles and banged on drums outside of a McDonald’s at 6:30 a.m., reports the Associated Press. Customers will likely have to learn to deal with the disturbances, as it sounds like most locations will be going about business as usual.
One Burger King employee taking part in the demonstrations today said her employers understand why she’s not at work today.
“My boss took me off the schedule because she knows I’m participating,” she told the AP. She added that her manager did warn workers that anyone who was on the schedule today but didn’t show up on time would be sent home.
So will these protests achieve the goal of raising minimum wage from $7.25 per hour? It’s going to be tough — companies have been warning customers that if wages are hiked, so will the prices for food offered at their restaurants. And many locations are owned by franchisees, allowing the corporate overlords to say they don’t control worker pay at those restaurants.
It also remains to be seen how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s promised vote on the wage hike does — it’ll likely founder in the House due to Republican opposition there.
It could come down to individual states, like in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island where state governments raised their minimum wages this year. New Jersey is also on track to lift the base wage to $8.25 per hour after voters approved a hike last month.
Fast-food strikes return amid push for wage hikes [Associated Press]