Fast-Food Workers Push to Unionize
Campaign launches to raise wages to $15 an hour
Fast-food employees at some of the nation’s most popular chains are joining an effort to unionize and demand higher wages. “Fast Food Forward,” the campaign to unionize, will be publicly announced on Thursday and is backed by community and civil rights groups, religious leaders and a labor union. Workers at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s, Taco Bell and other fast-food restaurants in New York City have joined the effort, which labor experts say is the biggest ever undertaken in the United States. McDonald’s employee Alterique Hall, one of 40 full-time organizers enlisted to help lead the effort, told the New York Times that the campaign aims to raise low-end wages and reduce income inequality. Hall currently earns $8 per hour at McDonalds after three years, and hopes to raise that to $15. The New York Communities for Change is playing a central role in the effort. “The fast-food industry employs tens of thousands of workers in New York and pays them poverty wages,” said NYCC’s organizing director, Jonathan Westin. “A lot of them can’t afford to get by. A lot have to rely on public assistance, and taxpayers are often footing the bill because these companies are not paying a living wage.” (NY Times)
On Thursday morning, dozens of protesters gathered outside of a normally busy McDonald's location in New York City. View a PSA, a news report and amateur video associated with the Fast Food Forward campaign below.