Well, this is interesting …Fast-food workersÂ in New York City began walking off the job this morning, launchingÂ the first multi-restaurant strike by fast-food workers in American history.Â 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,Â said theÂ 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.Â Minimum wage in New York state is $7.25 per hour, and many fast-food employees don’t get much beyond that. The NYÂ 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 withÂ community groups, civil rights groups and religious leaders.