While fast-food workers last year went on strike in several cities, this year's rally on Dec. 5 appears to be among one of the largest -- spanning more than 100 U.S. cities. Workers want the federal minimum wage raised to as high as $15 per hour from $7.25, arguing that's not enough to live on and raise a family. Critics counter that doubling the minimum wage would cost jobs, forcing employers to cut back on the number of workers.
Here’s an excerpt from a statement released by Fast Food Forward, a New York-based nonprofit involved in organizing the strikes:
“One year after the first strike hit the $200 billion fast-food industry and months after workers walked out in 60 cities, workers in 100 cities are expected to walk off their jobs Thursday. These strikes are part of a growing fast-food worker movement that started when 200 workers in New York City went on strike last November."
In addition to fast-food workers, clergy, elected officials and community supporters have joined in the protests. New York City alone is estimated to be home to about 57,000 fast-food workers who earn an average of $8.89 per hour, Reuters reports.
It remains to be seen how effective the picketing will be in helping to push up wages in the fast-food industry, but one thing is for certain -- workers' participation in the protests is significantly large -- with several photos appearing on newswires and social media sites such as Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), with the hashtag “#FastFoodStrikes.”
Many of the protests have occurred right in front of major chains including McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD), Burger King (NYSE:BKW) and Yum Brands Inc.'s (NYSE:YUM) KFC subsidiary.
— Jeremy Campbell (@Jeremy11alive) December 5, 2013
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— #D15 (@Detroit_15) December 5, 2013
Milwaukee fast food workers on strike! pic.twitter.com/HtYv97nxcV
— Raise Up Milwaukee (@RaiseUpMKE) December 5, 2013
— natalie solidarity (@constantnatalie) December 5, 2013
— Colleen (@colleenkelly) December 5, 2013
— OurDC (@our_dc) December 5, 2013