Aug 29, 2013

Fast Food Workers Walk Out

Fast Food Workers Walk Out. Fast food workers in seven cities across the United States are staging a one-day strike over wages they say are too low to survive on.

Staff at well known chains including McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and Wendy's were due to walk out on Monday in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St Louis, Kansas City and Flint, Michigan.

They are calling on fast food restaurants to pay $15 per hour, which compares to the New York state average pay of $8.25 per hour and the minimum wage of $7.25.

The action is being organised by Fast Food Forward , a movement of employees from fast food outlets in New York City aimed at raising wages and increasing workers' rights.

A statement on the group's website says: "In America, people who work hard should be able to afford basic necessities like groceries, rent, childcare and transportation.

"While fast food corporations reap the benefits of record profits, workers are barely getting by - many are forced to be on public assistance despite having a job.

"Raising pay for fast food workers will benefit workers and strengthen the overall economy."

The website also says that the $11,000 average annual salary of fast food workers in New York compares to a $25,000 average daily salary of fast food firm chief executives.

Jonathan Westin, director of Fast Food Forward, told New York radio station 1010 WINS that fast food workers are not paid a living wage despite having to raise families.

"A lot of the workers are living in poverty, you know, not being able to afford to put food on the table or take the train to work," he said.

"The workers are striking over the fact that they can't continue to maintain their families on the wages they're being paid in the fast food industry."

He said it was hoped the action would attract interest and gather momentum for the movement across the country.

The action - which follows a walk-out last April - comes as a survey suggested four out of five adults in the US suffer from unemployment, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives.