Fast Food Workers Protesting Around The World Today Seeking Higher Pay

Scenes from a NYC protest at Domino's this morning.

Scenes from a NYC protest at Domino’s this morning.

Fast food workers in 150 cities and 33 countries are participating in protests planned today in an ongoing effort to earn higher wages. The demonstrations are backed by unions trying to focus attention on the difficulties faced by low-wage workers, who are seeking a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour here in the United States.

Unions like the Service Employees International Union are supporting the workers’ protests today, which were scheduled at various fast food restaurants around the world.

Consumerist checked out the rainy scene at a midtown Manhattan Domino’s today, which was a bustling and crowded scene, despite rain showers soaking participants throughout the protest.

Chanting in both Spanish and English, the workers called for their fellow employees to “stand up and fight,” while also bursting into call-and-answer bouts of song as well.

Meanwhile, a few customers did manage to squeeze through the crowds and around police to get a slice for lunch.

We met Frankie on the scene, a worker who said he decided to show up despite the rain and protest today simply because what he’s making now isn’t enough to support his family.

“Minimum wage isn’t enough,” he told Consumerist after posing in the rain for a passing photographer. “I deserve a fair share for my work.”

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour (or about $15,000 a year, full-time), a rate the White House is working to raise to $10.10 an hour.

In a statement, the National Restaurant Association called today’s actions “nothing more than big labor’s attempt to push their own agenda,” reports the Associated Press, adding that rather than “demonizing” companies, the focus should instead be on “increased access to education and job training opportunities.”

Businessweek has a pretty good round-up of scenes from protests around the world as well, from Japan to London.

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  1. Lenne says:

    I dunno, but fifteen dollars an hour does seem a bit excessive for a job that requires very little skill. I will admit that the current pay rate is abysmal. Before I received my degree in electrical engineering, I have had jobs that paid around that much (15-16 USD or so, starting) and I have a full array of computer certifications, including A+, Network+, CCNA, and Security+. With that being said, I doubt that it would hurt any of these fast food companies’ bottom line by providing this much, and I do understand that the cost of living is higher in some areas. I can only assume that 15USD/hr in NYC would be equivalent to about 10USD/hr in Austin, Texas.

  2. TheRealSpottedfeather says:

    Why are these people so greedy ? Flipping burgers is NOT an important job. It’s not meant to be able to support a family. Fast food jobs are for getting work experience so that you can get an actual job and make something of yourself. If people want more than 7 dollars an hour for a job, then they should get a job that’s worth more than 7 dollars. But they’re whining about not being overpayed. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    • Naskarrkid says:

      Exactly what I wanted to say! These jobs are for high school kids, people who need work experience, and those who lost their job and need cash to get by until they find a better job. I know some people who are picky with their fast food, and almost always these fast food workers mess up their orders, until they learn that, the last thing they need is a raise.

  3. ShadyTrust says:

    Minimum-wage increases suck for anyone who makes around what the new amount would be. You’d go from making $3 over minimum to making minimum after the increase. This happened to me over the 5 years I worked at GameStop. Every time I got a raise, minimum wage was raised so by the end of me working there brand new employees made almost the exact same amount I did even after being there 5 years.

    • furiousd says:

      That’s something I hate about minimum wage, it’s not a merit-based system. Basically it’s like creating a safety net union out of the country’s unskilled labor since any individual with value to contribute to a company can negotiate their own salary rather than petitioning the government to force their employer to pay them more. Like [TheRealSpottedfeather] said, jobs that are driven by minimum wage are not the kind of jobs that you make a career of. It’s a filler job, first job for a high schooler, or something to keep a retiree busy that wants something to do. I also have a friend that said those types of jobs are recommended by recovery centers to help people get back on their feet without too much specialized stress. But if you’re planning on a minimum-wage job as a career, you should expect to be disappointed.

  4. Mapache says:

    Am I the onl one who thinks that by raising the minimum wage, the standard price of living is going to be raised as well?