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 : Backstage At Betsey Johnson Spring 15: NYF
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
popcorn

Three Food Trends you Simply Must Try

The year has had plenty of innovations under its belt. From the world of the culinary arts to the technological inventions, the innovative bug has bitten and bit hard. There are plenty of foods to look forward to on a restaurant menu. However, certain recipes and foods have cut a mark above the rest and are now causing whirlwinds and taste bud cravings across the globe. Today we will look at a few of these foods. Here are out top three:

National Coffee Day: 5 Places To Get Free And Steaming Coffee!

National Coffee Day: 5 Places To Get Free And Steaming Coffee!

National Coffee Day – Wonderful date for all the people who do not only like starting off their days with coffee, but can’t get enough and need a dose repeatedly. Today, Sept. 29th, the National and actually International coffee day, according to Days of The Year, takes place. So, to celebrate it, we enlisted some of the most important places where you can find a great deal of free coffee.

pancakes

Whole Grain Pancakes with Wild Blueberry – Maple Syrup

Mornings can be a drag. Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, doesn't do much to kick the body's reflexes into action. If the traditional cereals, fried eggs and bacon is not an ensemble that does it for you, you might want to consider this amazing recipe I guarantee you will fall in love with

Food Tech
Soft drinks

Coca Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper Agree to cut Calories by 20%

America's top three soda makers have agreed to cut down soda calories by 20%. In an agreement signed by representatives of Coca cola, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc, the soft drink manufacturers declared they would be reducing the calories consumption of soda lovers across the United States by 20%.

GUMMY WORMS - Halloween recipe

Japan’s Gummy Bug Sweets: A Coffee Shop In The Asian Country Sells Amazingly Realistic Worm Sweets

If you’re visiting Japan at the moment and you’re already concerned with Halloween treats, there’s a great option for you: Japan’s gummy bug sweets.

Vagina Cookies Are Made By A Mother For Seven Year-old Students With “Sex-Education” Purposes

Vagina Cookies Are Made By A Mother For Seven Year-old Students With “Sex-Education” Purposes

Vagina Cookies – Sometimes a story is so good that it needs to be shared with the world. And sometimes that story is not only good but a real one and the quality becomes even better. What took place in a school is that a mother brought cookies to share with the children. They did have a particularity, though: they were vagina-shaped cookies.

Real Time Analytics