Fast Food Workers Set For Walkout In Push For $15-Per-Hour Wage
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A planned labor strike could keep Angelenos from getting a burger at their favorite fast food restaurant next week.
Hundreds of thousands of workers at McDonald’s locations nationwide, including tens of thousands in the Los Angeles area, plan to stage a walkout on Aug. 29 to demand a $15-per-hour “living wage” and pave the way for formal collective bargaining talks.
Organizers with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) say the strike was designed to put pressure on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25, which many of an estimated nearly 4 million fast food workers nationwide say is no longer livable.
In addition to planned walkouts at several McDonald’s locations, Wendy’s and Taco Bell restaurants are also potential targets.
Martin Rafanan, a community organizer in St. Louis, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO workers simply want to be paid their fair share.
“The wage that we’re asking for is really a wage to take care of basic necessities of a person’s life,” Rafanan said. “If you’re not making that, guess who is paying for that, through government programs, through charitable and social service work? It’s our communities that have to pay that price.
“Why should our communities subsidize these corporations when they’re making huge profits?” he added.
Former McDonald’s USA CEO Edward Rensi told FOX Business the push for a minimum wage hike is less about income equality and more about political agendas.
“It’s all about union dues, it’s not about the minimum wage,” Rensi said. “It was designed for entry-level jobs to teach people soft work skills…it was never meant to be a career, it’s meant to be a career starter.”
Walkouts were planned to take place in Chicago, St. Louis and dozens of other cities.