Fast-Food Workers Demand Higher Pay
Unhappy with the current minimum wage, fast-food workers – spurred on by labor organizations like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – took to the picket line Thursday in support of a $15 an hour minimum wage. SEIU leaders claimed that workers would not be reporting for duty in 100 cities, and rallies would be held in 100 more. But by late afternoon, the effectiveness of the walkout was in doubt. Targeted restaurants experienced little disruption.
Recent attention from President Obama and others have used the federal minimum wage of $7.25 as a rallying cry against economic disparities. On the other hand, free market supporters point to research from the Pew Institute that shows only 2.8 percent of the workforce actually earn minimum wage, casting some doubt on exactly how pervasive the problem is, and pointing out that fast-food prices would rise sharply if the minimum wage were doubled, considering the razor thin profit margins the industry relies upon.
One New York City McDonald’s found itself the target of 100 protestors with whistles and drums, who marched into the restaurant at 6:30 a.m., chanting, “We can’t survive on $7.25.” Police soon arrived to order the participants out. (Derek Dowell VNN) (Image: Flickr | danxoneil)