Do You Support the Fast-Food Workers’ Strike?

The protesters aren’t going away.

It started late last year in Manhattan and eventually spread to Chicago, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Detroit, according to The New York Times. Fast-food workers were striking, demanding $15-an-hour pay.

Thursday was another big day of protest with the same demand, this time in nearly 60 cities, USA Today says. It fell between the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Labor Day.

“Hold them burgers, hold them fries, make our wages super-size,” protesting fast-food workers chanted in Memphis, says The Associated Press.

The jump to a $15 wage would certainly be super-sized. The federal minimum is just $7.25, and while President Obama called for a hike to $9 an hour in his State of the Union speech this year, Congress hasn’t moved on it. The national median pay for fast-food workers is already $9.05 an hour, the Times says.

Some make less than that, even after years of work. The Guardian shared a column by Willietta Dukes, a North Carolina single mother who worked two fast-food jobs to raise her two sons. ”I’ve never walked off a job before. I don’t consider myself an activist, and I’ve never been involved with politics,” she wrote. “I’ve worked in fast food for 15 years, and I can’t even afford my own rent payments.” She’s striking now.

Dukes says she worked at Church’s Chicken for 12 years and went from $6.30 to about $8 an hour. She now makes less than that at Burger King, and her hours have been cut back.

What would a wage increase mean to customers? Restaurant groups argue that protesters pointing to big corporate profits are ignoring the fact that most restaurants are owned by franchisees operating on much smaller margins, the Los Angeles Times says. (We wonder: Could corporate headquarters take a smaller cut from franchisees, allowing them to pay better?)

There’s research to support both sides of the argument. “The National Restaurant Association found that when the minimum wage was last increased in 2007, nearly 60 percent of eateries raised prices, more than four in 10 reduced employee hours and more than a quarter postponed plans to hire new employees,” the LA Times says. Other research we’ve written about suggests that a boost to $15 an hour would raise the price of a Big Mac between 68 cents and $1.28.

What’s your take? Do fast-food workers deserve to be paid $15 an hour, or at least more than they are now? (What about other low-wage workers, like those in retail?) Would you be willing to pay a few bucks more per meal if you knew it virtually doubled someone’s pay? Let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

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  • rose528

    YES I DO, those workers work harder and longer than other workers in this country and the get screwed by the corporations and the nazi fascist party of NO repugs, the right is wrong

  • Juan Lopez

    “Oh Hitler and communist countries already tried that system it didn’t work. Look up the history of the middle class and it was created before FDR.”

    Hitler was not communist you ignorant buffoon (politically you are ignorant) & there was never a middle before the 1950s at least in the USA.

    “Juan you are an a** you say George Mason is a right wing source and then use a left wing source as your proof. And Chomsky does not have to make money through capitalism he can work for free as he wants everyone else to do, start his own city and run it like you want and see how far you get.”

    First he makes his money from the state sector via MIT & 2nd he has to make money if there is no other option but to use capitalism. There is alternatives to capitalism (as it is dying which I am happy to say). George Mason is funny as they are state funded, so much for their garbage.

    “You think taxes are what creates economic stability and growth? Your ideology creates poverty that has been proven by many studies. You really need to go back to Mexico and remind your self why you came here.”

    1) Actually low taxes create poverty like Mexico who has crappy infrastructure.

    2) Again, right-wingers are race batting again.

    3) Taxes did create economic stability & growth as there called FDR to Reagan (2nd worst president in US history). There is no studies that shows taxes create poverty but low taxes does create poverty excluding Switzerland due for no military spending, low population, more socialist decentralized direct democracy government, etc.

    “So you know more then the Greek and world economists and what is your college education in?.”

    Alan Greenspan was a college graduate he got it wrong completely & there was fever around 1999 to put as many nations into the EU. My major is mathematics with some physics.

    “Yes the war saved the economy by huge govt. spending but you can’t keep that kind of spending up during peace time as there is no profit in it like there was to building war products.”

    You only spend when their is down turn in the economy as demand has collapsed so let the government be spender of last resort. Even then the USA still spent after World War 2 via the interstate & NASA.

    “You still didn’t tell me why you are entitled to my money you just say leave.”

    You did not say why the government can’t tax you. The government subsidized you so now it is time to pay the bill.

    “That is the first thing the left cuts military spending. yes you are correct the left passed a tax amendment to the constitution and continue to want more but that doesn’t make it right.”

    1) The should have at least a standing Army in the of peace.

    2) The Founding Father gave the USA government the right to tax.

    “Your rants are straight from the socialist hand book so again why did you come here from Mexico?”

    1) Facts do have left-wing bias & there is nothing wrong with socialism.

    2) The right-wing again are race batting & I am not from Mexico. You believe in the government should not tax so go to Mexico as you get not pay or very little in taxation. People have done this when they retire as to head out to Mexico. I am okay paying high taxation if means like before a high standard of living especially those who make in todays dollars at 7 million or more as direct tax at 91% rate as the USA use to do.

    “Oh and the Texas economy, read this article http://www.thetexaseconomy.org… and the fact that they have a large number of illegal aliens is the main problem their poverty level is so high.”

    1) Reagan is the one who stop penalized the “job creators” instead demonizing the “job creators” as cheap pricks.

    2) The USA has 0% illegal immigration problem but a 100% illegal employer problem. It cheaper to follow fiscal liberalism as penalized the “job creators” for hiring illegal immigrants.

    3) Illegal immigrants from Mexico & Central America is due to Reagan foreign policy as Central Americans came along the USA due to Reagan supporting far-right fascist death squad in Central America & Reagan creation NAFTA (Clinton signed this stupid bill as he was part of the 3rd way Democrats) which forced Mexican farmer with already cheap food with more cheaper unhealthy food which they could not compete so fled to the USA.

    4) Illegals do jobs Americans hate as they are low paying even when their is no illegals.

    4=5) For Texas

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/07/17/the-texas-jobs-juggernaut/the-minimum-wage-trap-in-texas

    “but with so many illegals who will work for less then minimum wage and the Obama and Holder refusing to agree to E-verify or any sensible laws they can’t enforce the laws they do have.”

    In what way would E-verify work as employer can just ignore it? The problem is not illegal immigrants but “job creators” hiring them in the 1st place. That will never your head as the bases problem is the conservative mentality which is that support anything with oppressive hierarchical & even whitewashing them as “job creators” which is treating them like aristocrats.

    “So you don’t really tell the true facts.” you have the burden of proof to show this & disproved your garbage.