Fast-Food Workers Plan Strikes in 100 Cities

Fast-food employees in cities across the nation are fighting for better wages.

July 29, 2013 protest at McDonald's in New York City.
Photo Credit: Annette Bernhardt/Flickr

The fast-food worker movement is about to up the pressure on corporate giants like McDonald’s and Wendy’s. The New York Times’ Steven Greenhouse reports that on Thursday, 100 cities will see fast-food worker strikes and another 100 cities will see protests in support of demands for the right to organize and higher wages.

For the first time ever, the cities of Charleston, South Carolina; Providence, Rhode Island; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will witness fast-food worker strikes, which are backed by the Service Employees International Union.  They will join the ranks of other fast-food workers in cities across the nation who have organized a series of one-day strikes since 2012.

“There’s been pretty huge growth in one year,” Kendall Fells, one of the organizers, told the Times. “People understand that a one-day strike is not going to get them there. They understand that this needs to continue to grow.”

Workers in fast-food restaurants are paid a median wage of $8.25 an hour. Entry-level workers are paid the minimum wage.  More than half of all fast-food employees who work more than 30 hours are on public assistance.  So these low-wage workers are agitating for an increase in wages to $15 an hour.

Low-wage workers in other industries have also joined the fight for better wages. On Black Friday, 1,500 protests took place at Wal-Marts around the country. Protesters and workers demanded better wages.


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.