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Nationwide Fast Food Strike ‘Largest To Date’

A nearly year-old movement to increase wages in the fast food industry spread to 50 cities with yesterday's strike.

fast food strike

Photo: mtume_soul (Flickr)

Supporters of the July fast food strike in New York City display their picket signs.

Thursday, fast food workers nationwide participated in what’s expected to be the largest strike to date over low wages and the right to unionize.

Big Mac Full Stop

Restaurants in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Raleigh and Seattle shut down over the strike, while at least 50 cities were affected — including Indianapolis.

Fast food workers began striking last November demanding an increase in pay. Workers are asking for $15 an hour, or $31,000 a year for full-time employees. That’s more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

More Hours, More Money

Many fast food workers say they don’t even come close to 40 hours.

“Forty? Never. They refuse to let you get to that (many) hours,” New York City McDonald’s employee Shaniqua Davis told the AP.

“If you’re paying $7.35 an hour and employing someone for 20, 25 hours a week, which is the average here, they’re bringing home about $10,000 a year. You can’t survive on that,” St. Louis, Missouri community organizer Martin Rafanan told Chicago Tribune.

McDonald’s has responded to the strike, saying they offer competitive pay and benefits with opportunities for training and advancement.

Read More:

  • Fast Food Strikes Expand Across U.S. to 50 Cities (Bloomberg)
  • National fast food strike hits dozens of cities (MSNBC)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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