'Super-size' strike: Why fast-food workers walked out for higher wages
After nearly a year of protest in New York City, fast-food workers expanded their picket lines Thursday to dozens of cities to demand $15-an-hour wages. Strikers say many workers are older, some supporting families, and can't live on $7.25 an hour.
(Page 2 of 2)
"If they give you a raise, it's like 10 cents [an hour]," she said. "I'm like, 'Really? You guys make millions and billions a year.' "Skip to next paragraph
Chelsea Sheasley is the Monitor's Asia Editor, overseeing regional coverage for CSMonitor.com and the weekly magazine.
In Pictures Battling Minimum Wage
For Boston, the marathon always means spring – and this year, much more (+video)
How did teen stowaway survive 5-1/2 hour flight to Hawaii in wheel well? (+video)
We want flying cars, not creepy robots that take care of grandma, study says
Bloomberg's new $50 million gun safety push, one mom at a time
Boston Marathon: suspect arraigned in Boston bomb hoax (+video)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
“Zendra Flores is a single parent making $8 an hour at a Subway sandwich shop on Federal Boulevard in Denver,” reports the Denver Post. “Flores wants to go back to school but is worried about supporting her 6-year-old.
"I am not looking to stay in fast food forever, I'm looking for another job with better wages, but I still think this is good to support," Ms. Flores said. "At first I thought the $15 was steep, but then I started thinking about it and that is what it would take."
Kansas City, Mo.
“Morris Cornley, 57, began working as a delivery driver at a Jimmy John's gourmet sandwich outlet in Kansas City, Mo., early last year, after he was laid off from his $45,000-a-year truck-driving job. He earns $7.35 an hour and works about 33 hours a week, taking home $370 or so every two weeks after taxes,” according to USA Today.
"I'm not really living – I'm surviving," said Cornley, who plans to take part in demonstrations Thursday.
"These are the jobs that are out there – fast-food jobs," he said. "I could be in this industry for quite a long time and, if I am, I'd like to make a living wage."
“These companies that own these fast food restaurants, they make way too much money off the backs of the employees,” Dearius Merritt, a 24-year-old worker at Church’s Chicken in Memphis who earns $13 an hour and plans on participating in the demonstrations, told Time.
“I’m in the store every day with these workers that make $7.25.… If I’m 30 years old and this is what I have to do to survive, then I deserve a living wage off of it.”
“I make $7.85 at Burger King as a guest ambassador and team leader, where I train new employees on restaurant regulations and perform the manager's duties in their absence. Before Burger King, I worked at Church's for 12 years, starting at $6.30 and ending at just a little more than $8 an hour,” wrote Willietta Dukes in a Guardian opinion column.
“I've never walked off a job before. I don't consider myself an activist, and I've never been involved with politics. I'm a mother with two sons, and, like any mom knows, raising two teenage boys is tough. Raising them as a single mother, on less than $8 an hour, is nearly impossible, though.”
It's not fair that the top managers of our businesses make enough to put their kids through prestigious colleges, buy houses, and live well, and I am on food stamps and need public health care,” co-organizer Shonda Roberts of Oakland, Calif., told the San Francisco Chronicle.
"There are millions of people like me, and I think they can afford to pay us $15 an hour," she said. "We are worth it."
RECOMMENDED: 10 fast foods that have disappeared