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. 

© 2015 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
Shake Shack Raises Prices For Upcoming IPO

Shake Shack Instagram 100 Times More Crowded Than McDonald’s, As Wall Street NYC Fast Casual Franchise

Last January, the fast-growing New York City-based fast casual franchise went public and made more money from the starting point that had been calculated, and they made news once again after it was found that some of the top managers were gathering part of the IPO revenue; now, a new study has found that Shake Shack’s Instagram page is way more popular than that of its competitors.

Jimmy Fallon Surprises Fans at Ben & Jerry's

Viral Video Jimmy Fallon Ben & Jerry’s: Customers Get Served ‘The Tonight Dough’ … By Jimmy Fallon!

Earlier this week, Food World News reported that they’d be releasing an ice cream to honor the first anniversary of Jimmy Fallon’s hosting job in “The Tonight Show,” with a delicious flavor called “The Tonight Dough” – and now, the host himself shows his commitment to ice cream by serving it up to customers himself!

Food Label Claims That You Need To Watch For

Food Label Claims That You Need To Watch For

Are you food label addict? Wait until you read this. Not all you see in the food label means true. If a food you picked is labeled fat-free or all-natural, check the ingredients before you put that into your cart.

Food Tech
Burgeoning Craft Beer Industry Creates Niche Market For Limited Release Beers

Next Glass App: The App That Chooses Wine And Beer You’ll Love!

For those who love to have a nice glass of wine or beer during the weekends - which is just about everyone or almost -, there's a new way to keep the guessing out of the way you choose what to drink: the Next Glass app chooses drinks according to what you love!

A national survey done by the North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota representatives suggests that most U.S. consumers are ready to accept genetically modified and nanotech products if it is enhanced with nutrition and are safe.

U.S. Consumers, Ready To Accept Genetically Modified, Nanotech Products If It Is Healthy And Safe, New Survey Reveals

A national survey done by the North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota representatives suggests that most U.S. consumers are ready to accept genetically modified and nanotech products if it is enhanced with nutrition and are safe.

Starbucks Introduces Wireless Chargers In 200 Stores

Starbucks Introduces Wireless Chargers In 200 Stores

Starbucks Wireless Chargers – Starbucks announced that from Tuesday, there would be 200 stores in the San Francisco Bay Area which count with wireless charging spots.

Real Time Analytics