Fast-food strikes set for cities nationwide

Economy - Money 001(AP) — Fast-food customers in search of burgers and fries on Thursday might run into striking workers instead.

Organizers say thousands of fast-food workers are set to stage walkouts in dozens of cities around the country, part of a push to get chains such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wendy’s to pay workers higher wages.

It’s expected be the largest nationwide strike by fast-food workers, according to organizers. The biggest effort so far was over the summer when about 2,200 of the nation’s millions of fast-food workers staged a one-day strike in seven cities.

Thursday’s planned walkouts follow a series of strikes that began last November in New York City, then spread to cities including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. Workers say they want $15 an hour, which would be about $31,000 a year for full-time employees. That’s more than double the federal minimum wage, which many fast food workers make, of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year.

The move comes amid calls from the White House, some members of Congress and economists to hike the federal minimum wage, which was last raised in 2009. But most proposals seek a far more modest increase than the ones workers are asking for, with President Barack Obama wanting to boost it to $9 an hour.

The push has brought considerable media attention to a staple of the fast-food industry — the so-called “McJobs” that are known for their low pay and limited prospects. But the workers taking part in the strikes still represent a tiny fraction of the broader industry. And it’s not clear if the strikes on Thursday will shut down any restaurants because organizers made their plans public earlier in a call for workers around the country to participate, which gave managers time to adjust their staffing levels. More broadly, it’s not clear how many customers are aware of the movement, with turnout for past strikes relatively low in some cities.

Laila Jennings, a 29-year-old sales associate at T.J. Maxx, was eating at a McDonald’s in New York City this week and said she hadn’t heard of the movement. Still, she said she thinks workers should be paid more. “They work on their feet all day,” Jennings said, adding that $12 to $15 an hour seemed fair.

As it stands, fast-food workers say they can’t live on what they’re paid.


  • Someguy

    If a fast food worker suddenly starts making as much as I do in my position that requires education and at times is very stressful I might as well grab a spatula and start flipping burgers so I don’t have to get so many grey hairs at work.

    • Looking for application

      We also can get a spiffy uniform to wear, cut down on a professional wardrobe. This could be a win win situation.

  • A_citizen_patriot

    Do these people not realize that if they get payed 15 per/hr, those businesses will raise the price of there food to compensate.

    • Chris

      their* food.

      Could be a great way to solve the obesity problem! Fast food becomes prohibitively expensive.

      • A_citizen_patriot

        Yeah then all thoes people will be out of jobs.

  • Hays Resident

    If these people want the $15/hr why don’t they get an education and find a job that they will actually EARN that wage? The same exact thing I did! I worked at McDonalds but wanted to make more money. Instead of bitching & complaining about the wages, I went to school and found a job that paid more.

    • Chris

      Why shouldn’t they be able to ask for more money? It is very subjective to say a particular job is ‘worthy’ of a particular wage. Capitalism stresses that working harder will provide better rewards, so if you work hard, no matter what that job may be, you would expect to be rewarded.

      The question is, have you made yourself indispensable enough to earn that ‘reward?’

      It seems to be even a larger issue now that employers are trying to cut most of their employees to 30 hours or less.

      • someguy

        All things considered, these people that are requesting the 15.00/hour wage also live in cities where a studio apartment rents for 1000.00 a month. There is a reason I live in Hays KS enjoying my 40,000 a year job versus trying to survive in a larger town making the same amount.

        • Chris

          Great reply. 15$ an hour in Hays would be a great wage, while in New York you may barely scrape by.

          I’m just hoping someone doesn’t say “if they dont like the cost of living, move somewhere else!”

          • that guy

            if they dont like the cost of living or the wages, move somewhere else then

          • Chris

            tsk tsk..

      • A_citizen_patriot

        I think everyone has the right to ask for more money. 15 a hour for fast food?! Roughnecks make 16 per hour and I gurantee their job is harder then flipping burgers. It is not a skilled trade, why should they be paid like one. Now I could see minimum wage getting bumped to maby 9 per hour.

        • Chris

          Then roughnecks should ask for more money. If they are indispensable enough, they will get that raise.

          • A_citizen_patriot

            I doubt they would, some may, but I would bet that the majority that went on strike just get replaced.

          • Chris

            Well, then the same would apply to the fast food workers. So you shouldn’t lose sleep over it. Your big mac is safe

        • someguy

          Roughnecks should make that much money, would you get that dirty/oily/possibly die for minimum wage?

          • A_citizen_patriot

            Didnt say the shouldnt. My point was they only make a dollar over what fast food workers want, and their job is much harder. Why should a burger flipper get paid as much for a less physicaly demanding job.

  • A blind monkey can do this job

    We are talking about flipping burgers people. This is a job that requires no education, minimal training and little in the way of mental acuity. There is a reason these positions are typically minimum wage, they require the minimum. If America wants the minimum wage to be raised, I’ll support it, but burger flippers are at the bottom for a reason.
    Yes, I flipped my fair share of burgers in high school. It would take a lot more than a dollar raise to go back to that mind-numbing job.

  • guest

    I find it sad that in some cases they are already making more than a lot of school district employees. We should be paying people that work with our children more money.