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5.09.2014

It’s Coming: Fast Food Workers Strike in 150 Cities to Protest Poverty Wages

by: Josh Kilburn




The largest fast food strike yet is on its way, and it’ll arrive on May 15. The massive unrest will be larger than any of the previous strikes, and will span 150 cities in the United States, in addition to 30 countries over six continents. Named cities include London, Bangkok, Milan, Rome, Venice, Auckland, Chicago, Detroit, and New York City.


American workers have been walking out in protest over low wages and poor working environments since the first industry strike hit New York and put 200 workers on the picket line. The demands have remained relatively constant: the right to unionize and a $15/hr minimum wage. Since then, the strikes have spread throughout the industry, but the one that’s coming up on May 15 is going to be the biggest one yet. The strikes are joined by several class-action lawsuits against McDonald’s regarding their policies towards workers — that is, stealing their wages.


The fast food sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy, but the wages have remained relatively stagnant. While the common argument against it is that the jobs are staffed mostly by teenagers, that’s not true — 25- to 54-year-olds are the lion’s share of workers in the sector. These aren’t the sort of jobs that allow for advancement, either: less than 9% of the total working population makes it to a supervisory position and even less than that — 2.2% — will see a managerial position.


This is important, because unionizing this sector will give unions a huge boost, and may help combat the lousy “right-to-work” legislation that has bedeviled the country since the Koch brothers bought their first senator.


Here’s the video with a report from RT.