Fast food workers across the United States and in many countries around the world will strike Thursday, May 15, for higher pay. A solidarity rally is planned in Minneapolis.
The Twin Cities solidarity event will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the McDonald’s restaurant at 210 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis.
Demonstrations are planned for New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and 147 other U.S. cities and also on five other continents, organizers from New York City-based Fast Food Nation told a May 7 press conference in midtown Manhattan.
Energized by past protests and fed up with low wages, erratic hours, no benefits and management wage theft, the workers plan a one-day walkout in several locations.
The object of the protests is two-fold: To shame the employers - McDonald's, Burger King, Yum! Brands, KFC and others - into paying U.S. workers a living wage of $15 hourly, and to attain the right to organize without employer interference.
The past protests have had some impact. They led Democratic President Barack Obama to issue an executive order mandating that any fast food restaurant in a federal facility must, to get its contract renewed, pay workers a minimum wage of $10.10 hourly. Obama's own Navy Department, however, is protesting his order for the increase. It wants the Labor Department not to enforce the hike on Navy bases or PXs.
Elsewhere, protests and political action led Seattle's new mayor to back a $15 hourly wage for fast food workers there.
Past protests also led the CEO of Subway, the largest U.S. fast food chain in numbers of outlets, to reverse course on May 7 and support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 hourly.
The federal minimum is currently $7.25 hourly. Obama and organized labor have been campaigning to raise it to $10.10 by 2016 and then index it to inflation. Adamant GOP congressional opposition has killed the bill so far.