#FoodieFriday: The Fast Food Strikes

What is being called the largest fast-food industry strike in history, happened last Thursday. Thousands of workers in 60 cities across the nation walked off their jobs to demand better wages and to increase the current minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $15/hour. A large portion of the strikers were women. One of these women was Veronica Clark of Detroit, Michigan. Veronica is a mother of three children and the sole breadwinner for her family. She works at McDonald’s and makes $7.40 an hour. For the last six years, Veronica has been looking for other employment but hasn’t been successful in finding anything. According to The Guardian, “she is paid less per hour in real terms than the lowest paid US workers were half a century ago, when, on 28 August 1963, hundreds of thousands of citizens flooded into Washington for the historic march for freedom and jobs for black Americans.”

The average fast food worker is 28 years old. Two thirds of the industry’s workforce is comprised of women; their average age is 32, and they are mostly women of color. The majority are supporting children and families on $7.50 minimum wage, no benefits, and few hours. According to Policymic.com, “the implications of this movement are large. Whether or not workers are able to raise the minimum wage to $15 is one thing, but the fact that there is now an unparalleled amount of action in the industry means that something is bound to happen in the near future. Dorian T. Warren, a professor from Columbia University,says, “Many are earning so little they have nothing to lose.” Fast-food workers will continue to fight until they see some change.”

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