If you work in the fast-food industry it is not news that the pay does not even match subsistence levels – you may even need food stamps to survive despite working. Unfortunately given the depressed economy many Americans now working in the fast-food industry will be doing so for quite some time. Which is to say, they can’t quit these notoriously awful jobs.
So workers are deciding to fight for living wages now that they know nothing better is coming around the corner. The fight continues this Thursday in over a hundred cities where workers will go on strike for a $15-an-hour wage.
Seeking to increase pressure on McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other fast-food restaurants, organizers of a movement demanding a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers say they will sponsor one-day strikes in 100 cities on Thursday and protest activities in 100 additional cities…
The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.
Fast-food workers could certainly use greater bargaining power as now they are at the mercy of transnational corporate franchises endlessly trying drive down wages and costs.
Not surprisingly the corporate flacks are claiming higher wages will cost jobs. They are even threatening to (somehow) automate the jobs.
Officials with the National Restaurant Association have said the one-day strikes are publicity stunts. They warn that increasing pay to $15 an hour when the federal minimum wage is $7.25 would cause restaurants to rely more on automation and hire fewer workers
So machines already exist that could do these horrendous jobs? Why haven’t they been deployed? Will customers even accept automated food deliver system 3000 instead of humans they can talk to (rudely)?
If technology has advanced far enough to eliminate fast food work so be it. It is awful, thankless, crap work and the customer is going to generally be unhealthy from eating the product anyway.
All the more reason to show solidarity with the workers this Thursday and pack a lunch.
Photo by Apathetic duck under Creative Commons license.