Fast-Food Workers Planning To Strike In 100 Cities On Thursday For $15-An-Hour Wage

 @MeaganKaym.clark@ibtimes.com
on December 02 2013 9:55 AM

Organizers of a movement demanding a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers say they will sponsor one-day strikes in 100 cities on Thursday and other protest activities in another 100 cities, the New York Times reported.

The first protest began last November, when 200 fast-food workers coordinated a one-day strike across more than 20 restaurants in New York City, including The Wendy's Company (Nasdaq: WEN) and McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD). That was the first such walkout in the nation’s fast-food industry.

The growing movement includes the groups Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15, and is supported by the Service Employees International Union. The low-paid workers are demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation, in addition to a $15-an-hour wage.

According to the National Restaurant Association, increasing wages to $15 an hour -- when the federal minimum wage is $7.25 -- would force restaurants to rely more on automation and hire fewer employees.

Industry officials say a small percentage of fast-food jobs pay the minimum wage and that those are largely entry-level jobs for workers under 25.

Those backing the movement for higher wages cite a study from UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that says 67 percent of core fast-food workers are 20 or older and more than one-fourth are parents raising children. Movement backers like Fast Food Forward maintain that fast-food jobs are twice as likely as other jobs to pay so little, forcing workers to rely on public assistance, and advocates say that raising pay for fast-food workers will benefit the entire economy. 

At the end of August, fast-food strikes took place in more than 50 cities. This week, groups including USAction and United Students against Sweatshops, will join the protests. 

Share this article

More News from IBT MEDIA