Fast-Food Workers Strike for Better Pay
December 3, 2013
Fed up with poverty wages, fast-food workers across the country are holding a one-day strike Dec. 5.
Workers at McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell and more than a dozen other outlets are expected to hit the picket line in more than 100 cities.
Organizers are calling for a $15-dollar-an-hour wage.
According to the Web site Fast Food Forward:
In America, people who work hard should be able to afford basic necessities like groceries, rent, childcare and transportation.
While fast food corporations reap the benefits of record profits, workers are barely getting by — many are forced to be on public assistance despite having a job.
Raising pay for fast food workers will benefit workers and strengthen the overall economy.
The negative ramifications of low pay in the fast food industry go beyond the workers themselves.
A report by researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of California, Berkeley finds that poverty wages end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars each year.
Fast-food jobs pay so little that 52 percent of the families of front-line fast food workers need to rely on assistance programs, costing taxpayers nearly $7 billion a year. And compared to the overall economy, fast-food jobs are twice as likely as other jobs to pay so little that workers are forced to rely on public assistance (52 percent versus 25 percent).
Opponents of raising the wage claim that most fast-food workers are teenagers with no family obligations.
But the report found that 68 percent are the main earners in their families and more than one-quarter are raising children.
“Everybody loses with poverty wages,” said International President Edwin D. Hill. “When some of the country’s most profitable corporations can get away with paying their workers almost nothing, it drags down standards for everyone else and threatens the future of the middle class.”
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