Strike actions and rallies will dot the city today as fast food workers’ frustrations will too-low wages and lack of collective bargaining rights come to a head. Fast food employees in 50 cities, including New York, will take to the streets for increases in pay and the right to organize unions without interference from their employers.
Workers at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, Domino’s, and, Checkers are looking to have wages increased to at least $15 per hour. Currently the average hourly pay for fast food workers in the New York City area is $8.89 an hour, just barely above federal minimum wage.
According to some estimates, for an adult living in New York City with one child, the very least one can earn and still provide the basics is about $24 an hour.
More than one targeted employer has sniped at the demand for increased wages, calling them:
What’s more, of the jobs added during the economic recovery, 60 percent are jobs that pay less than $14 an hour in fast food, retail, and hospitality, according to the National Employment Law Project.
The day of action began early this morning at a McDonald’s in midtown, with a strike action in front of the store.
Demonstrations will continue throughout the day. At 11:30 a.m. another strike action will take place in front of the Wendy’s on 85 Nassau Street in lower Manhattan, followed by a noontime march to the Burger King at 106 Fulton Street.
The day will culminate with a rally in Union Square at 3 p.m. on the south steps.
The strike and rally are part of a conflict between the fast food industry and its employees that has been brewing all summer. Earlier this summer fast food workers walked off the job in seven cities in protest of low wages.
Conflict between workers and employers has not been limited to the fast food industry. Walmart workers, warehouse workers, and even federally-contracted workers in Washington, D.C., have set down their work tools in demand of fairer treatment by employees.
Check Runnin’ Scared later today for updates from the strike actions and rallies.
Send your story tips to the author, Raillan Brooks.