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Fast food outlets planning strike for wage increase to $15

Some of the fast food industry will be participating in a one-day strike this Thursday in hopes of raising their wages to $15 an hour.
Some of the fast food industry will be participating in a one-day strike this Thursday in hopes of raising their wages to $15 an hour.
Elaine Thompson, Associated Press

Fast food workers in 100 cities are saying no to their current pay checks and are participating in a nationwide strike to facilitate higher wages, the New York Times is reporting.

"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," according to the New York Times.

USA Today reported that this week's efforts mark the largest this campaign has embarked on since the fight for higher pay began nearly one year ago.

The protest, spurred on by labor unions, Democrats and other groups seeking to raise low wages, originally began to "call attention to the difficulties of living on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, or about $15,000 a year," according to USA Today.

New to the protest, reports the New York Times, are cities like Charleston, S.C., Pittsburgh and Providence, R.I., that is indicative of the growth the movement has seen since the initial stunt in November 2012 when 200 fast-food employees walked off the job for a one-day strike in more than 20 restaurants around New York City.

“There’s been pretty huge growth in one year,” said Kendall Fells, one of the movement’s main organizers told the New York Times. “People understand that a one-day strike is not going to get them there. They understand that this needs to continue to grow.”

But for now, the effectiveness of the movement is yet to be determined.

"It's not clear how large the turnout will be at any given location, or whether the walkouts will be enough to disrupt operations. Similar actions this summer had varying results, with some restaurants unable to serve customers and others seemingly unaffected," USA Today reports.

And though Fells, who also spoke to USA Today, is saying he knows the battle won't be won overnight, there are still many obstacles to overcome.

"Organizers face an uphill battle in reshaping an industry that competes aggressively on low prices, a practice that has intensified as companies including McDonald's Corp., Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Yum Brands Inc. face growing competition and slow growth in the weak economy," according to the article.


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