You may want to bring your breakfast or luncheon to work on this Thursday. If you choose to go to your regular fast food franchise chain restaurant to purchase your breakfast or lunch you may have to wait longer than usual, or you may receive no service at all.
A national strike by fast-food employees is set to take place on August 29 2013. Since last year when walk-outs in individual fast-food restaurants began the movement has grown from a local protest to a national one.
According to the Census Bureau, the income threshold level for a family of four to be in poverty is $23,000. The median pay for a fast-food worker is about $18,500, based on a $9 per hour pay. That amount is $4,000 less than the government's established poverty level amount.
Fast food workers do not have union representation. The multibillion dollar fast food industry pays many workers the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. While the workers are demanding almost double the federal minimum wage, a request that almost no business person would immediately indulge, here is some more perspective regarding a livable wage.
Fast-food workers along with labor groups are now calling for a $15 an hour as the minimum wage . They are also and requesting opportunities to unionize. Not one of the workers in the nation’s 200,000-plus fast-food restaurants are represented by unions.
“Our primary goal is to help workers boost wages. We think a key part of that is helping workers form organizations where they can directly bargain for wages with their employers.” ~ President Mary Kay Henry of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)explaining the union’s involvement.
According to CBS News which cites the Living Wage project: “A single adult in New York would need to make $12.75 an hour, which is far above the $9 an hour minimum wage that New York State has plans to implement over the next three years. Add a child and the number jumps to $24.69. In Chicago, that adult would need $10.48. In Milwaukee, $9.48. A living wage in Flint, Mich., is $8.57. Put differently, in Flint, an economically depressed city in a state with a $7.40 minimum wage, an hourly worker at the low end is making nearly 16% too little to get by. An adult with two children at minimum wage in the city would be below the poverty line.” Often these wages are supplemented by federal food programs
An article in Jezebel states: “The average fast food worker is 28 years old. Two thirds of the industry's workforce is comprised of women; their average age is 32, and they are mostly women of color. The majority are supporting children and families on $7.50 minimum wage, no benefits, and few hours. (Few work full-time because the industry cuts work hours at 32 hours so they don't have to give benefits…).”
In New York City fast food is the lowest paid industry. The people working earning so little they believe they have nothing to lose.
Shameful when considering the fact the industry made almost 200 Billion dollars for the year 2012.
Fast-food workers will continue to fight until they see some change.