News

Fast food workers to walk off job to protest low wages

Fast food workers to walk off job to protest low wages

WANT FRIES WITH YOUR PROTEST?:The strike will be in 150 cities including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Miami. Photo: Reuters

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. fast food workers seeking higher wages are planning a strike on Thursday that could affect thousands of restaurants across the country the workers say make huge profits from paying them workers a pittance.

The strike will be the latest in a series of protests over the past 18 months in the United States that have targeted fast-food restaurant operators, including McDonald’s Corp and Burger King Worldwide Inc.

They come at a time when U.S. Democrats have been mounting efforts to raise the federal minimum wage ahead of this year’s mid-term congressional elections, seeing income inequality as a powerful campaign issue.

Fast-food workers are seeking $15 an hour and the right to unionize without retaliation, union leaders said.

McDonald’s, the world’s biggest restaurant chain by revenue, and Burger King have defended their treatment of employees, saying they pay fare wages.

Jessica Davis, 25, a single mother of two who earns $8.98 an hour as a crew trainer at a Chicago McDonald’s restaurant, said she needs more to make ends meet.

“I’m tired of making so much money for this company and they can’t give me a decent wage and decent hours,” said Davis, who has four years on the job but relies on family and public assistance. “I don’t think we should have to live this way.”

The strike will be in 150 cities including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Miami.

President Barack Obama has pushed Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from the current $7.25, a move fought by the Republicans in Congress.

Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C. have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage, and 38 states have considered minimum wage bills during the 2014 session, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The state of Washington has the highest minimum wage, at $9.32 an hour.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Steve Orlofsky)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Jennifer Lawrence threatens action over nude photos

jlaw

Lawrence's representative has threatened to prosecute those behind a nude photo leak affecting dozens of A-list celebrities.

in Music

Rucker, Little Big Town to announce CMA nominees

littlebigtown

Darius Rucker and Little Big Town will announce the nominees for "The 48th Annual CMA Awards."

in Entertainment

Family of seriously ill Joan Rivers ‘keeping fingers crossed’

joan-melissa

Joan Rivers remains in serious condition after suffering cardiac arrest.

in Entertainment

Today’s celebrity birthdays

tomlin

These celebrities will celebrate their birthdays on Labor Day.

in Entertainment

This weekend’s celebrity birthdays

diaz

A look at the celebrities who will be celebrating this weekend.