Fast-Food Workers In NYC Launch Multi-Restaurant Strike

Workers on the picket line outside of a Burger King in the Financial District.

Well, this is interesting …Fast-food workers in New York City began walking off the job this morning, launching the first multi-restaurant strike by fast-food workers in American history. The protest effort includes employees of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and other restaurant chains.

According to the New York Times, “several dozen” workers and supporters were striking and chanting outside a McDonald’s at Madison Avenue and 40th Street early Thursday morning, and 14 of the 17 employees scheduled at the McDonald’s that morning had gone on strike. Organizers of the effort, a group calling themselves Fast Food Forward, said the workers were protesting low wages and retaliation against several workers who have openly backed the unionization campaign.

Fast-food workers get some of the lowest wages (and least respect) of any service employees. Minimum wage in New York state is $7.25 per hour, and many fast-food employees don’t get much beyond that. The NY State Labor Department says the median pay for fast-food workers in New York City is around $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year for someone working full time.

According to Grub Street NY, employees from Burger King and ‘Yum Brands’ (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC) will walk out and begin striking outside Penn Station and employees of Wendy’s in downtown Brooklyn will at the same time. At 5 p.m., workers from the Times Square McDonald’s will begin striking.

The effort is backed by union mammoth the Service Employees International Union, along with community groups, civil rights groups and religious leaders.

Photo: Fast Food Forward on Facebook

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    • Maggie

      $7.25 an hour? Are you kidding? In my province in Canada, minimum wage is $10/hour (which is roughly the same in American dollars since currently the Canadian dollar is higher), and that is barely enough to survive on. I hope these people get the raise they deserve, ’cause working fast food, or retail, is not easy. The amount of abuse food service and retail workers take from customers is horrible, and they should be making a hell of a lot more than $7.25 an hour for putting up with it.