MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – US fast food workers are planning a new set of one-day strikes across the country this Thursday, Time magazine reports as referred to Fast Food Forward.
The protests will take place in 150 American cities at McDonald’s, Wendy’s and KFC restaurants. Fast-food workers’ demands include wage of $15 an hour (they call it a living wage) and the right to create their own union. The strikes are being funded by the Service Employees International Union with a media strategy by PR firm Berlin Rosen. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly pay hour for fast food workers was $8.74 as of May 2013.
"The company should pay me more. I am worth more," Dana Wittman, 38, working for Pizza Hut in Kansas City, Missouri, said, as cited by The Guardian. She makes $9 an hour working night shifts. "They make billions a year and I don’t even get health insurance. The CEO gets health insurance."
The first strike was organized by 200 fast food workers in New York City in November 2012. Since then fast-food workers’ protests have become regular across the US every three or four month. The campaign has not seen any major victories yet. Daisha Mims, a McDonald’s employee who has participated in protests, told Time magazine that she had received only 35 cents in raises since the beginning of the strikes. Organizers said that only a small number of workers had received similarly sized gains.
However some larger shifts influenced by fast-food workers’ protests can be seen in the labor landscape. According to the National Employment Law Project, in the beginning of 2014 thirteen states raised their minimum wages by an average of 28 cents, and the city of Seattle has approved a $15 minimum wage. In July National Labor Relations Board ruled that McDonald’s is jointly liable for wage and labor violations at franchise-owned restaurants. Previously, McDonald’s and other fast food companies have claimed that franchises are responsible only for the wages and labor conditions.