Aug 29, 2014 Last Updated: 03:31 AM EDT

Fast-Food Workers Go on Strike in New York City, Politicians, Christine Quinn, Union Back Up Effort for Higher Pay

Nov 29, 2012 01:05 PM EST | By Jessica Durham

  • print
Mcdonalds
McDonald's offers employees tips on how to cope with issues like the upcoming holiday financial crunch. (Photo : Reuters)

Fast-food workers are fed-up with low wages and are now seeking higher pay for making burgers and dealing with unsatisfied customers.

According to the New York Times, workers at several restaurants in New York City walked off the job Thursday, triggering something experts say is "the biggest effort to unionize fast-food workers ever undertaken in the United States."

Like Us on Facebook

Community and civil rights groups, religious leaders and a labor union back the effort to try to secure workers at McDonald's, Wendy's, Dominos, Taco Bell, and other fast-food places across the city.

Los Angeles Times reported that workers are demanding $15 an hour in pay, which is more than double the minimum wage some receive; it is now $7.25.

"What we're finding is that there's huge support among fast food workers to form a union and to fight back against the poverty wages that they're being paid," said Jonathan Westin, organizing director of New York Communities for Change, which is helping to organize the strike.

"Most workers are being paid minimum wage, they can't afford rent, they can't afford to put food on the table," he said. "Many people rely on public assistance to subsidize their wages."

This first walkout began at McDonald's on Madison Avenue at 6:30 a.m. where 14 mostly morning-shift workers refused to enter the building. Protesters moved to downtown Brooklyn, the Penn Station area, and Times Square.

"I'm just standing up for what is right," Darryl Young, 24, said. He was one of the McDonald's workers to walkout, getting paid only $7.25 an hour to be a cashier. But the Bronx resident said he is asked to do many more jobs like maintenance, manning the grill, and cleanup. He has a two-week-old daughter in a single household.

Raymond Lopez, 21, an aspiring actor who has worked at the McDonald's for more than two years, showed up on his day off to protest, according to the New York Times.

"In this job having a union would really be a dream come true," said Mr. Lopez, who added that he makes $8.75 an hour. He said that he, along with fellow fast-food workers, were under-compensated. "We don't get paid for what we do," he said. "It really is living in poverty."

"These jobs have extremely high turnover, so by the time you get around to organizing folks, they're not on the job anymore," said Ruth Milkman, a sociology professor at the City University of New York. There have been few efforts to unionize fast-food workers because of the challenge but the new effort might gain traction because it is taking place in New York, a city with deep union roots where many workers are sympathetic to unions, the New York Times wrote.

Politicians are getting into the effort. Councilmember Christine C. Quinn expressed her supper for fast-food workers.

"I support fast food restaurant workers' rights to organize and fight for decent wages,'' Quinn wrote in a Twitter message on Thursday morning. Hours after she wrote, "Working NYers deserve a #livingwage. I support the city's fast-food workers who are fighting for this on http://on.nyc.gov/V8t9mV  #FastFoodFwd."

Reports say that more walkouts are likely to come. 

© 2014 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Featured Video : Cocktails At The Garret With Nicky Hilton
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
MOST POPULAR
Food Biz
1

Burger King To Buy Canada's Tim Hortons For $11.5 Billion

Burger King Worldwide Inc (BKW.N) announced plans to buy Canadian coffee and doughnut chainTim Hortons Inc (THI.TO) for C$12.64 billion ($11.53 billion) in a cash-and-stock deal that would create the world's third-largest fast-food restaurant group.

q

Wal-Mart Sales Growth Weakest In 5 years, Outlook Disappoints

Wal-Mart Stores Inc forecast a profit for the current quarter that fell short of analyst expectations after quarterly sales grew at their slowest pace in nearly five years.

Winemaker and facility manager Chick Brennemen checks wine levels at the University of California Davis during a wine grape harvest in Davis, California August 21, 2014.

Early Grape Crush Kicks Off California's Winemaking Season

At the University of California's prized winemaking institute near Sacramento, a sleek metal wine crusher on Thursday morning let out a deep rumble and began to shake, jostling grapes made sweeter by the state's ongoing drought into sticky juice.

Food Tech
ground beef

Nearly 2 million pounds of potentially E.Coli infected beef shipped nationwide, 11 people sick

Eleven people have been hospitalized following an E. coli outbreak which has been linked to burgers consumed in restaurants in four states, according to reports.

Viagra

Ice Cream Flavor Treat Made With Viagra and Tastes of Champagne

Forget about talking the bill pill, a British ice cream maker has created a flavor that includes 25 mg of Viagra per scoop.

Starbucks

Tip Your Starbucks Barista From Your iPhone

Starbucks announced that it will improve its mobile application that will allow customers visiting its stores to tip their baristas from their iPhone.

Real Time Analytics