Fast food workers strike in 50 cities
August 29th, 2013
11:15 AM ET
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Fast food workers in 50 cities across the U.S. are walking off the job Thursday as they protest for higher wages.

Organizers say it will be the largest strike to hit the $200 billion fast-food industry.

Workers from fast food giants McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Yum Brands-owned KFC are calling on their employers to pay them a minimum of $15 an hour and allow them to form unions without retaliation.

Currently, the median pay for the fast food workers across the country is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That's roughly $4,500 lower than Census Bureau's poverty income threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

Strikes are planned in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York and dozens of other cities.

Read - Wave of fast food strikes hits 50 cities

Previously:
Does your favorite restaurant take the high road with its workers?
Get on the bus! Meet the folks who clean up your restaurant mess
'We are servers not servants!'

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Filed under: Burger King • Fast Food • Food Politics • Human Rights • KFC • Labor Issues • McDonald's • Restaurants • Service • Wendy's


soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Fitness Events 2014

    Forming unions would be a big mistake. We need to get rid of union's bankrupting the world. Unions bid laziness.

    January 30, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
  2. Why

    If I was to walk off my job as a emergency medical technician of seven years because I make $10.25. I would be simply replaced ! I wish I made 15 a hour for helping someone that's having one of the worst days of there lives.
    But I do ask my self are the fast food workers asking for $15 but really will settle for far less $10.00 for example

    December 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  3. Livexaloha

    Regardless of how much a corporation makes i don't see the point in fast food employees who can't even maintain a clean restroom let alone kitchen getting a yearly salary of $30,000 which is $359 less than what an E5 (with 4 years of experience) makes in the army. Fast food workers aren't risking their lives for the country all they are doing is txting while working, gossiping, frying, microwaving, and making incorrect orders. Waiters/Waitress still make $2.69 an hr and they deal with more B.S then any fast food employee.

    August 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Tim

      Has anyone noticed that this article is comparing one person to a family of four. If the other person in the home got a job this "family" would be making well over the average. Fast food should be considered as a bridge job while in school not for a life long career unless you are going to advance. This article is also only talking about the low end of fast food pay. What do people expect when a business will hire you without a high school diploma? Heck, lets just pay $100.00 an hour so nobody will want to go to any type of higher education. If this somehow passes, how much will the food cost be? Has these employees even thought that the majority of the people who eat fast food will not go as much and that mean less employees and more responsibility. I find it hilarious that everyone wants a raise but does not think of the reaction it will cause. If the owners of the fast food establishment has to pay $15.00 and hour " an almost 55% increase" at a base salary then there will be less workers. Now that i think about it that is probably the exact equation that the fast food industry needs to improve the service, just downsize staff "FIRE" by 60%. Then maybe the spitting in food, on the cell phones, eating behind the counters while working, & rude service problems would be taken care of.

      September 2, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  4. ChefAxxgrinder

    Give me a break. Sure lets give them a raise to $15 therfore effectively raising the wage of EVERY person in the US by $7, then lets increase costs to make up for the overwhelming labor costs that will now be associated with this ridiculous request for $15 by fast food workers. Nobody is going to pay $15 for that value meal now and your business will go broke. You wanna better yourself and earn a decent wage? Go to school, earn grants and scholarships, make something of yourself. Tons of people have done it and they started exactly where these people are. Entry level jobs are just that entry level. Theres nothing hard about watching the fryer tell you when to drop the fries in, and when to take the fries out. Everything in a fast food restaurant is so freaking easy and spelled out for everyone that its almost fool proof yet they want $15 an hour? Sorry, no sympathy from me.

    August 30, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • JUDEE

      I just hope everybody quits and walks out and I stay and maybe the big corps will give the last workers a raise....ey now Burger King came up with a $1.00 hamburger called a FRYBURGER, guess they are tired of throwing away all of these unused french fries....

      September 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
  5. JUDEE

    People should not go on labor strikes, at least we have a job, but we should support the FDA and look into what we are eating. If the FDA has been fighting for years to take red food dye off of the shelves, maybe all of us hard working people should support government and the FDA and stop big business from poisoning our new generation. We are working for our kids, our future, even if we make a buck an hour. We are the government, not fast food chains, yet I think fast food chains are getting away with some padding to sell this stuff to our kids. Labor strikes will not help...yet the FDA might. The FDA needs our support, not big business. Big business will sell you anything and use as as slaves to the place. Work harder for government, ourselves and stop working so hard for these corporate rip offs. Anyways...we are the people the voters, not stockbrokers...have a safe labor day weekend and labor as hard as you can to fight big corporations, not ourselves, the Govt...we the people...not big business....there is a difference....

    August 29, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Dylan

      The government is run by the big corporations your logic is flawed

      August 30, 2013 at 12:08 am |
      • JUDEE

        Yep FDA is padded by big business...no logic left...but keep thinking that and then you are not part of the government. WE are the voters...your logic is flawed not mine....everybody wants to blame it on big business, just blame it on ourselves for letting all of this get away with it all...womens lib is what started it all...SO now women have to work for minimum wage and so does the hubby...it all got flawed in the '70's late '60's...hey lets blame it on Vietnam....what are we fighting for? We should be fighting for our kids and be able to at least cook natural food for them....Logic is lost...have a great labor day weekend and work for yourself....

        September 1, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
  6. Edwin

    Half the time these clowns can't get even my order right, yet they want $15/hr?! They MUST be on crack.

    August 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • JUDEE

      Mommie donno how to cook no more, she donno how...like the microwave, she cannot stay home so she has to support a dual income..so the kids run out to buy a cheap burger while mommie never learned how to cook because she had to go out and work...etc. and then mommie never learned how to count. And then she had no time to teach the kids how to cook. Counting the beans in the drawer, well...people cannot even count backwards anymore, they are trained to punch in amount tendered. Computers and schools have ruined the math. I could not bring a calculator to school when I did the math and I can count backwards. Do not blame it on the clerks, they were never taught any common sense. I think I should move to Amish country. Regards...what are we teaching...we are degenerating as a society....

      August 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  7. JohnnyBoy

    Burger flippers and fry cooks making $15 an hour?
    Where can I buy the awesome drugs these people are using?

    August 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • JUDEE

      It is not even worth working at a Burger Joint for 15 bucks an hour. I am talking about poison. Red food dye. The FDA banned one food dye years ago and now they are trying to ban another food dye. I want to know what is in them patties that makes them red. It has to be red coloring. Red food dye causes cancer, I know this by research and what happened in a family food business. I will not work for 15 bucks and hour...I will exploit the use of red food dye. Teens, kids pull up to a burger joint and buy these burgers but they have to be red. Meat, by nature is not red. And then people wonder why so many younger aged citizens are dying of cancer, doritos for instance have this red coloring, I want a burger with no red in it and I would eat a raw hamburger from a rancher before I ate a burger from any fast food restaurant. The FDA is fighting this other red food dye big time....what is in that patty? I want to know....but then again.....think twice before you feed that kid a red jelly bean. Fast food may lead to fast death.....I do not want 15 bucks an hour from these places because I do not want to kill the new generation....

      August 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  8. teisha orr

    I work fast food and only make 8.15 a hour but its enough to get by and I also take care of 2 kids any job is better than no job its hard to find a job that works wit ur kids school jobs and no not everybody go to collge but I know a lot of people who did and still don't have a job or end up work fast food just end up payin a lot of money back they did not evn have to start with u just have to take the cards life deal u and run wit it u can do any thing u put ur mind to collge or not and 15$I don't know about that but maybe 12$ cause u do have to deal wit a lot of b.s and rude people cause they not happy wit there self

    August 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • JUDEE

      I have a college education a 4.0 average and in this small little town there are no jobs right now...truckstop town. I need this job to find another job. You cannot find a job unless you have one. So I figured I would work fast food. The whole horrible situation is that the managers go out back and gossip, most of them are pregnant and then tell you to clean bathrooms while you are serving food...or go over here and do this, yet do that too. DISGUSTING. I know of an african american women that cleaned motel rooms for a living to send her son to college and he played in the super bowl and bought his mom a brand new home....long story...I would rather clean motel rooms and work by myself for minimum wage rather than putting up with a bunch of pregnant women managers...duh...besides that I do not eat fast food, too expensive. But pregnant women eat there for free if they are managers and then they are poisoning there kids within the body. DO not go on a labor strike, the whole US should just stop eating fast food.....

      August 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
      • AleeD®

        Please don't breed.

        August 31, 2013 at 7:24 am |
        • JUDEE

          I have already bred, both my kids in college with scholarships...single mom...go ahead and work at a fast food restaurant...you will see, but hey, nobody shows up so I make overtime.....I am not going to breed any more kids, already had 2 and both on the way to success, they did not eat fast food...I know how to cook...so do not try to intimidate me...you go out and cook...I bet you are a fast food junkie.....I lived without power and lived the Amish way...you try that one...have a good labor day weekend and if you are not working hard you are relying on welfare and unemployment, so you do not breed any more on your food chain, regards...

          September 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • JUDEE

          And I bet your kids are in gangs selling dope for a living, so you do not breed...the art of intimidation, it does not work, go out and plant a seed and watch it grow....

          September 1, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
        • JUDEE

          So what did you do breed 12 kids, AleeD...are you Mormon and rely on the Church and get free handouts? I am part Jewish, my parents lived in WWII in Germany under Hitler...I do not know your kind. You are probably some spoiled American woman that does not even know how to cook and runs to the microwave or a fast food chain every chance you can get so that you can put your makeup on...you do not need to breed....last comment off of this post....

          September 1, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
        • JUDEE

          There you go, bottom line on food colors....you can do more research on red #40.....that is is for me http://www.cspinet.org/fooddyes/

          September 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
  9. VK

    Folks, even if the minimum wage was raised to $15 per hour we still can't make a living. It's very easy to say 'go to school or get a better paying job'. The reality is that GREED has taken over us. These billion dollar companies don't even want to pay $8 per hour. They want free labor. Australia's minimum wage is $17 per hour. Come out of your comas people.

    August 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • KW

      Indices Difference Info
      Consumer Prices in United States are 31.07% lower than in Australia
      Consumer Prices Including Rent in United States are 34.29% lower than in Australia
      Rent Prices in United States are 40.76% lower than in Australia
      Restaurant Prices in United States are 30.37% lower than in Australia
      Groceries Prices in United States are 25.10% lower than in Australia
      Local Purchasing Power in United States is 30.60% higher than in Australia

      I'm just saying...

      August 30, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • JUDEE

      It has always been GREED, and that is why we are degenerating as a society, I am glad you brought up the word GREED, we can learn to live with less, but boy oh boy, that is going to take a long time. We can learn to live with less....the most we need to survive is clean water...thank you Mr. DownUnder...

      September 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  10. Jeez

    Wow aren't we all entitled. Seriously the point here is that the minimum wage should be 15$. The point of a minimum wage is so the government can ensure that its citizens make enough money to survive in our economy. If you work for 40 hours a week you should make enough money to support yourself, regardless of your job title. If your think your better than these people, look down on them and scoff that they should have gotten a better education and bettered themselves all I can say is really??? apparently you're all omniscient enough to understand the circumstances of every downtrodden persons life, but don't stop to actually consider what it would take for you to get stuck in such a position. If your going to argue that its their fault and they could have bettered themselves please start by arguing that the government should pay for college. Because that's what your telling them, that in order to make a decent wage they should have to go to college, but what if they cant afford a college education?

    August 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • sharpnickelz

      To continue this, just because you get a college degree doesn't mean your guaranteed a job in your chosen field either. Children are told to chase their dreams, but realistically, children should be taught life skills that will allow them to make it no matter if they have to resort to Plan B, C or D. Obama wants to give people the insensitive to go to college, and I must agree that the experience in and of itself is worth the cost. However a person should be able to survive without the governments help and without the need for a college diploma. I'm not talking $15 dollars for fast food work...I'm talking an overall raise in every middle class persons pay. If 15 dollars is minimum wage, if you make 20 dollars right now, you should be making 30. With inflation, with the way the wealthy corporation owners are continuing to grow their profits exponentially while the middle class is stagnating...something has got to give. If not, I see revolution on the horizon. People claim that the poor have cell phones, designer clothing...but have you ever stopped to think that these things could very well be black market? And what about the filthy rich, who continue to find any way to cut company costs, even if it means that their workers must go on government assistance to survive and it makes their products cost a few dollars cheaper? And that is supposed to be trickle down economics? What if the tricklers don't follow through on their end of the deal? js.

      August 29, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  11. Really...?

    Fifty bucks says that Bloomberg is somehow behind this little media party.

    August 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  12. anti__

    This is ridiculous!
    I went to college, am paying it off, state and federal taxes add up to 26% which is taken out of my paycheck from which a lot of my money goes for the 'poor' people. Have any of them ever been to the 'poor' neighborhoods? People walking around with expensive jewelry, doing illegal crap and make tax-free-cash money.
    15$ to work at MCD? Those people should stop complaining – if they don't like it , quit. It is only YOUR OWN FAULT that you didn't make the most out of your life. It is your own fault that you didn't have a plan for your life and didn't want to finish school or continue education. Now is the time to pay for all of your mistakes – if some of those people work on fake SSNs then I have a solution – if you don't like it here, go back to your country – nobody is stopping you.

    August 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Maurice

    How can you be a billion dollar corporation and just pay minimum wage? We as humans are fundamentally flawed all throughout history we seem to make excuses why we need to exploit others for profit. Its 21 century and seem no better than 16th. America was built with slavery and it continues with immoral business practices like slave wages now. We allow this way of doing business to be exported to other countries like China and India so corporations can maximize there profits. This is worst thing though when people make comments here about people trying to stand up for their rights. They applaud the company and put down the hopeless. When this country is was envy of the world it was the other way around. We have lost our way god help us.

    August 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Dr. Phil

      Hitting the sauce a little early, are we?

      August 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Oprah

        A holiday weekend is coming up. Let's all hit the sauce!

        August 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • Foster Brooks

          That Bedder Be a Big Azz Bathtub-–hic-Buuuuuuurp!!!

          August 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Really?

      In your opinion, is there a job out there worthy of just the minimum wage? Other than management, fast food service is not a job that has ever been known to pay enough to support a family.

      I am offended that someone with very little education and job experience feels they are owed a salary nearly equal to the one I worked nearly 20 years to achieve. Is the job of cooking and serving fast food valued more than the task of defending our nation? Look up the base pay for those enlisted in the army. I cannot value the work performed at fast food joints higher than those in our military.

      If you are unhappy with your wages, find another job. If you can't find another job, get educated. Remember, if you're working somewhere you don't want to be and you are living in America, it's your choice. Just quit.

      August 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • VK

      AGREE WITH YOU 100%

      August 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  14. David1958

    $15 an hour to work at McD's! If fast starts paying that much I'm changing jobs.

    August 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      I'd go flip burgers for $15 an hour and have sh** eating grin on my face the whole time!

      August 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  15. Shawn

    This is an absolute joke. I worked fast food for many years, as I got older and more experienced, I moved to different lines of employment. I now work a mentally intense job that requires dedication and accuracy. I never liked my pay, but when do ANY of us like our pay? I would like more money now and I make a LOT more then I did then.

    My point is this, if they don’t like their job, get a better paying one or move up the chain of command. If all you are doing is taking my money, ringing up my order, sweeping the floor, moping, taking out trash, stocking supplies, or working the line… well… these are called SIMPLE REPETATIVE TASKS by the federal government for a reason. Its intended to be EASY, hence the lower pay. Besides… more so than less, most of these fast food places are unable to keep the places clean, serve food promptly and correct, and most importantly do it with a smile. Again, most. And they want a 100% raise…. WHAT A JOKE! The few that do it great will end up leaving and getting a better job...and...get this, as hard as it is to believe...MORE MONEY! >.>

    August 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Former Crew Chief at McD's

      Agreed. The more manual labor your job requires, the less you get paid ... and vice versa.

      August 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • Tim

        Really??? Did i understand you correctly? So people who make more money has to do less work? Try living in poverty for 15years after high school while in school, then finally getting out of residency with over $400,000 owed for student loans. Then getting up everyday having to save lives by cracking a chest open and having to keep a heart beating with your bare hands. Then a half an hour later giving birth to a woman who is a crack addict who's baby is addicted and to top it off telling an 53 year old woman that her husband was just killed in the car that they were in. So please don't act like serving fast food is a hard job. This is the United States of America, go to school and find another career if you don't think you are getting what you deserve. Seriously get a grip on reality

        September 2, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
  16. ohioan

    I worked ff for 12 years. Never made more than $8/hr. I now work for a small business and make still under $10/hr. But what I make is what is expected for the business I am in and the work that I do. If I couldn't support my family on $8/hr, I'd get a second job or delay having children, or get rid of the smart phone, cable, and learn how to cook inexpensive home cooked food instead of pricey processed food. That said, I don't have to support my family on my full time low wage job. My spouse has a good job. I work because the kids are older and I need something to do. And the extra $ affords us parochial school for our 4 children (middle and high school ages). I could support just myself with the basics on what I make now if I was single. I have 4 coworkers who do just that.

    August 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  17. Truth™

    If I were to walk off my job at the busiest time and demand what is basically a 100% raise, I would likely be replaced. And deservedly so.

    August 29, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • RC

      Yeah-I never worked fast food, but damn! $15.00 an hour!?

      August 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
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