Society

Giant Fast-Food Workers Strike Across The Country Planned For Thursday

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A one-day strike by fast food workers in 100 cities across the U.S. is planned for Thursday along with protests in 100 additional cities, the New York Times reported.

Fast food workers demanding a raise to $15 an hour are organizing the strike almost exactly one year since the wages strike in New York City in November 2012.

Last year 200 fast food workers participated in a one-day strike at more than 20 restaurants in NYC. It was the first walkout of its kind in the fast food industry.

"There's been pretty huge growth in one year," an organizer, Kendall Fells, told the New York Times. "People understand that a one-day strike is not going to get them there. They understand that this needs to continue to grow."

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Some strikes have been planned for the first time in cities including Charleston, S.C.; Providence, R.I.; and Pittsburgh, Pa.

The movement includes the groups Fight for 15 and Fast Food Forward.

Backed by the Service Employees International Union, organizers want to see restaurant workers allowed to unionize without retaliation.

The National Restaurant Association has called the one-day strikes publicity stunts. They insist that increasing pay above minimum wage, $7.25 per hour, will result in more automation and fewer workers being hired.

According to industry officials, only a small percentage of fast food jobs only pay minimum wage to workers.

“It’s very difficult to live off $8.07 an hour,” said Simon Rojas, 23, who is only assigned 20 to 25 hours per week at a McDonald’s in South Central Los Angeles. “I have to live with my parents. I would like to be able to afford a car and an apartment.”

Sources: ThinkProgress, New York Times