Aug. 19, 2013
The minimum-wage protests that have been bubbling under the surface throughout the quick-service restaurant industry for nearly a year now may soon come to a boil.
QSR and retail workers from eight cities have called on minimum-wage employees from around the country to join them for what they're calling a "national day of strikes" Aug. 29, just ahead of the Labor Day weekend.
The workers, who have facilitated a handful of strikes in various cities throughout the past few months, are specifically protesting for $15-an-hour wages and the right to form a union without retaliation.
"If you work in a fast food or retail store anywhere in the country, we urge you to join our growing movement," said Terrance Wise, a 34-year old father of three who earns $9.30 an hour after eight years at Burger King and $7.47 at Pizza Hut in Kansas City. "Get together with some or all of your co-workers and make plans to take to the streets on August 29. Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to do the same. The more of us who go on strike that day, the louder our message will be that it is not right for companies making billions in profits to pay their workers pennies."
According to a press release, employees are expected to join the protest from chains such as McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's.
"It's wrong for big corporations to make billions of dollars in profits and pay millions of dollars to their CEOs, while us workers barely scrape by on minimum wage," said Latrice Arnold, a 27-year-old mother of two who earns Michigan's minimum wage of $7.40 an hour at a Detroit Wendy's. "They can afford to pay us more and have a responsibility to ensure the workers who keep their businesses booming don't live in poverty."
The movement of QSR workers fighting for $15 an hour got started in New York City last November with a strike by 200 workers. So far this year, workers in eight cities have walked off their jobs in protest of these issues, including in New York City again, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Seattle, Kansas City, Mo., and Flint, Mich.
The workers who issued the Aug. 29 strike call are part of the following groups: Fast Food Forward, Fight for 15, STL Can't Survive on $7.35, D-15, Raise up Milwaukee, Strike Poverty-Raise Seattle, Stand Up KC and Flint-15.
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