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.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's '205 Ways to Save Money' as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1094 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Mark Chandler

    YES I DO SUPPORT THESE AMERICANS……………….. IT IS TIME TO TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY FROM THE REPUBLICON TALIBON TEABAG TERRORIST…………….VOTE ALL DEMOCRATIC FROM NOW ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Teresa Espinosa

    yes I support the workers.

  • John Hughes

    A lot of these full time, minimum wage workers get government help like food stamps because their family size puts them at a poverty level, That means American tax payers are subsidizing McDonalds and the others bottom line. We are giving investors and CEO’s tax money!

  • FactCheck

    Yes, I support them. You will see more of these strikes soon because industry is taking advantage of workers. While salaries and bonuses of C suite has gone up exponentially, everyone else’s pay have been stagnant for decades,

  • EASSS

    Not support

  • nitemare2

    No they are looking to make more then skilled workers. If they don’t like the pay find a job that will pay them what they think they are worth. The left today want the companies to pay non skilled, low educated workers the same as a skilled worker and the hell with who or if the economy gets hurt in the process typical union mentality higher pay means less jobs but they don’t care. McDonalds are a franchise and most franchise owners work on a small profit margin the same with Wendy’s and the rest of the fast food chains. These again I repeat LOW EDUCATED workers and the union agitators who are creating this strike believe because the McDonalds “company’ makes big profits they should get more. I feel sorry for the woman who has worked two fast food jobs to support her kids but she should have thought about that and improved her education, there are programs out there that do help to get better job skills. If you don’t want to work to better yourself don’t cry about what jobs you can get. I heard another striker cry about not getting a raise in 4 years well welcome to the rest of the real world. The only raises have been to Govt. workers, the private sector has been stagnate and downsizing.

    • Juan Lopez

      “The left today want the companies to pay non skilled, low educated workers the same as a skilled worker and the hell with who or if the economy gets hurt in the process typical union mentality higher pay means less jobs but they don’t care.”

      There is no bases for the economy being hurt & the USA had massively better economy when people paid low skill workers until advent of the Reagan Admin.

      “If you don’t want to work to better yourself don’t cry about what jobs you can get. I heard another striker cry about not getting a raise in 4 years well welcome to the rest of the real world.” This the right-wing world of turning the USA into 3rd word status. To better yourself you still need to pay for college, so reason why college should be free & return back to FDR style tax rate which gave the USA the middle class.

      “The only raises have been to Govt. workers, the private sector has been stagnate and downsizing.” This good thing as the government workers are getting paid well so that mean to raise the minimum wage to at least $12 to $15 USD an hour.

      • nitemare2

        Minimum-wage laws have never worked in terms of having the middle class have more prosperity. Think of your own household, If you found out tomorrow that your expenses were going to go up, something is going to have to give. What could that be? Hiring minimum-wage employees? McDonalds restaurants are franchises each one pays the wages for their employees not McDonalds Corp. Same with the majority of fast food places. Do you even understand what that means? You liberals want someone else to pay for you cradle to grave. Free this and free that just like Europe. Well move to Europe. You think its ok to take from someone else? That is called stealing only the left calls it taxes, If I busted my ass over my working life to earn a couple million why should you get any of it. If you bought my product or services it does not give you the right to the profits, it does not give the workers the right to more then what the public is willing to pay so I can get a profit.

        You do not need college to better yourself you need to check out the mikeroweWORKS Foundation Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollar Education Scholarship Fund for those looking to explore a career in the skilled trades. Skilled trades meaning you work, sweat and get your hands dirty not a liberal college B/S job. You need to decide to better yourself and not wait on someone else to pay for you.

        So you think it’s great that the Govt employees get raises while those paying the taxes don’t! How long at that mathematical brain fart do you think the private sector can keep paying the tax. That is the problem in Greece and Italy and most of Europe they have more Govt employees and those getting benefit checks then those working. You see what happened there

        • Juan Lopez

          “You think its ok to take from someone else? That is called stealing only the left calls it taxes, If I busted my ass over my working life to earn a couple million why should you get any of it.”

          It is not stealing as you can leave this nation as the famous Brazilian did as he went to Singapore. Like FDR did, he create the 1st ever US middle class by raising taxes. If don’t like taxes go to one lowest one which is Mexico & enjoy how the misery of living in 3rd world status.

          “That is the problem in Greece and Italy and most of Europe they have more Govt employees and those getting benefit checks then those working. You see what happened there”

          Like most right-winger you have no idea what is going on there & 2nd place like Greece got screwed over long before the Great Recession. They had tax fraud before entering the EU. That is no more different than like Texas as how longer as tax cuts goes down before infrastructure collapses. An example of Spain shows better as it follow the US policy of building way to many house & no demand for them. If want a really nanny state it is the Nordic Nations who have high minimum wage at about 15 USD for fast food workers & have lower employment rate than the USA.

          “Skilled trades meaning you work, sweat and get your hands dirty not a liberal college B/S job. You need to decide to better yourself and not wait on someone else to pay for you.”

          This is great as Noam Chomsky has showed how stupid this idea of your social Darwinism as the nanny state is hear for me but for the rest of the nation tough love & let the market decide. Of course you would hate education, as educated work force would question right-wing nonsense. what right-wingers want is a fearful population they can screw over. 2nd, skilled trades are a thing of the pass like most conservatives are as there is no manufacturing jobs. So please tell me how do people themselves when even it still cost money to better yourself? Besides those skill trade jobs & getting your “hands dirty (fast food gets your hands dirty)” are paid like crap.

          “Minimum-wage laws have never worked in terms of having the middle class have more prosperity.”

          “Actually it has had as it has showed a economic stimulus growth. So, your statement is nullified. Free this and free that just like Europe. Well move to Europe.” That is like me saying move to Mexico when you right-wing complain about stupid crap like taxes. This could be said when your right-winger as “market” this & “market” that which has shown a failure.

          • nitemare2

            You say it’s not stealing, tell me why you are entitled to
            my money! I was born here why should I leave? My family was here before it was
            America. Tax was created by the left not the Constitution. FDR was not as great
            as the left thinks, if not for the war he would not have got the economy turned
            around. That is a fact.

            The middle class was created by the industrial age in the
            late 1800s and early 1900s by people like Henry Ford, factories and large
            employee based jobs. Not taxes. The middle class has declined because of world
            competition which has caused the decline of employees in favor of automation.
            If you research the facts most of the unemployment has been caused by companies
            closing not by moving overseas as the left want you to believe.

            The Greek and world economists have all said that the tax
            fraud would have amounted to less than 5% of the deficit they had. And where is
            Texas collapsing? They are having a great increase in jobs and income. Which means
            with even a lower tax rate they get higher tax revenue. Florida and several
            other states are having the same results.

            You are out of date. In the 1970s and 1980s the Nordics were
            indeed tax-and-spend countries. Sweden’s public spending reached 67% of GDP in
            1993. Astrid Lindgren, the inventor of Pippi Longstocking, was forced to pay
            more than 100% of her income in taxes. But tax-and-spend did not work: Sweden
            fell from being the fourth-richest country in the world in 1970 to the 14th in
            1993. Since then the Nordics have changed course—mainly to the right. Taxes
            have been cut: the corporate rate is 22%, far lower than America’s The Nordics
            have focused on balancing the books. While Mr. Obama and Congress dither over
            entitlement reform, Sweden has reformed its pension system. Its budget deficit
            is 0.3% of GDP; America’s is 7%, on public services the Nordics have been
            similarly pragmatic. So long as public services work, they do not mind who
            provides them. Denmark and Norway allow private firms to run public hospitals.
            Sweden has a universal system of school vouchers, with private for-profit
            schools competing with public schools. Denmark also has vouchers—but ones that
            you can top up. When it comes to choice, the performance of all schools and
            hospitals is measured. Governments are forced to operate in the harsh light of
            day: Sweden gives everyone access to official records.

            The great Noam Chomsky really, a capitalism hater who is
            rich because of it. Has he given all his money away to show it is not needed,
            has he done anything other than talk? He and Michael Moore have a lot in common
            please show me any country where his socialist economy ideas have worked.
            According to the left the right are the only ones who can afford higher
            education so why do you say we would hate it. The voucher system supported by
            the right is mostly used to help the poor to get into schools with better
            educators. The DC school system was overwhelmed by the amount of poor who were
            able to attend better schools until President Obama stopped the vouchers. My
            daughters went to college and paid for it themselves by part time jobs at
            minimum wage and student loans which they will be paying back by themselves no
            help from the left or Obama. How do people better themselves when it cost
            money? Get off you’re a## and work for it.

            You like most liberal whiners don’t look up the facts. Jobs
            like welding in a company in Pa, they need about 200 workers and starting pay
            is $18 an hr., you can make $15 an hour serving tacos, $25 an hour waiting
            tables and $80,000 a year driving trucks in North Dakota they have an extreme
            shortage of people looking for work. Drywall Finisher $17-18, Carpet Installer $15-20
            plus many more or you can sit around and cry like the rest of the liberal whiners.

            “Actually it has had as it has showed a economic stimulus
            growth.” Please back up this statement with some facts because just saying it
            does not make it so. Evidence shows that when the real (inflation-adjusted)
            minimum wage exceeds the prevailing market wage for unskilled workers, there
            will be fewer jobs and a higher unemployment rate – especially in the longer
            run according to a study by George Mason University.

          • Juan Lopez

            “Evidence shows that when the real (inflation-adjusted) minimum wage exceeds the prevailing market wage for unskilled workers, there will be fewer jobs and a higher unemployment rate – especially in the longer run according to a study by George Mason University.”

            That was not even evidence & George Mason University is not even creditable source as right-wing source just as. Try again as Richard Wolff has pointed out that it is been at worst case as neutral.

            “He and Michael Moore have a lot in common please show me any country where his socialist economy ideas have worked.” Nordic Nations, so try again. 2nd, no nation has practiced capitalism as it never works as Noam Chomsky has pointed out. Denmark and Norway allow private firms to run public hospitals. He has to make money via the disgusting model of capitalism, but he does very few. He has alternatives to capitalism like anarcho-syndicalism as which bring democracy from the federal government to the work place.

            “Sweden has a universal system of school vouchers, with private for-profit schools competing with public schools. Denmark also has vouchers—but ones that you can top up.” There only about 13% which is small compare to the 87% of those who do not. Capitalism makes things worse as it is known & nothing more but into a bureaucracy. Thank goodness capitalism is dying off as there are alternatives to capitalism.

            “You like most liberal whiners don’t look up the facts. Jobs like welding in a company in Pa, they need about 200 workers and starting pay is $18 an hr., you can make $15 an hour serving tacos, $25 an hour waiting tables and $80,000 a year driving trucks in North Dakota they have an extreme shortage of people looking for work. Drywall Finisher $17-18, Carpet Installer $15-20 plus many more or you can sit around and cry like the rest of the liberal whiners.”

            I love this how you right-winger help the left-wing proving why their policies are better. Keep helping the left-wing as those jobs you need trade degree, if not they would not hire. Try again. Germany has place where they actually for free for those who want to make cash now can enroll into a trade school.

            “According to the left the right are the only ones who can afford higher education so why do you say we would hate it. The voucher system supported by the right is mostly used to help the poor to get into schools with better educators”

            1) Voucher schools have to do worse which part of the right-wing to make a ignorant nation.

            2) anti-intellectualism is part of the right-wing.

            3) It is to profit & not care about education.

            Why not try the socialist model of Finnish who ranked number one.

            “Denmark and Norway allow private firms to run public hospitals.” They do & they are expensive & most of their hospitals are run by the state.

            And where is
            “Texas collapsing? They are having a great increase in jobs and income. Which means with even a lower tax rate they get higher tax revenue. Florida and several other states are having the same results.”

            They do not & Texas ranked with the minimum wage. Texas has no good funding so now they turned 80 miles into gravel road. Florida has not a great job market. Nevada who has lowest tax rate is get it ass beating from 39% rate of Macau.

            “The middle class was created by the industrial age in the late 1800s and early 1900s by people like Henry Ford, factories and large employee based jobs. Not taxes. The middle class has declined because of world competition which has caused the decline of employees in favor of automation.
            If you research the facts most of the unemployment has been caused by companies closing not by moving overseas as the left want you to believe.”

            1) The USA never had a middle class until FDR.

            2) Of course you right-wingers love this time aka Gilded Age which excluding the wealthy was consider as nickname as “depression”

            3) Actually low taxation has decimated the middle class as the right-wing does not want you to believe.

            It has removed a lot of the public needs that created a middle class. Blaming automation & tech is stupid as there socialist models has shown that you can have both.

            “The Greek and world economists have all said that the tax fraud would have amounted to less than 5% of the deficit they had.”

            They were complete wrong & never should have joined the EU unless they fixed there tax fraud.

            “You say it’s not stealing, tell me why you are entitled to my money!”

            Leave the country as if do not want to pay taxes. It is not stealing as there has been Americans leaving to Mexico or to other low taxation.

            “Tax was created by the left not the Constitution. FDR was not as great as the left thinks, if not for the war he would not have got the economy turned round. That is a fact.”

            1) FDR created the middle class while Reagan destroyed the middle class.

            2) World War 2 (miserable) was a huge government spending & before the war, 1937 recession showed that was need for mass government spending.

            3) It is a left-wing & the constitution directly said that government has Taxing and Spending Clause.
            Try Again.
            PS Sweden hates the right-wing conservative reforms from the government as that was the reason for the protest. They have been a slow rise of income inequality which is normal post Reagan America.
            Hopefully there is more protest against capitalism as replace with more decentralized democratized work place aka socialism. Say yes to the left-wing & no to corporate centralized fascist capitalism aka the right-wing.

    • rose528

      you’re a NAZI FASCIST PARTY OF NO repugs follower and what you think is not important to the American people because your life went well you expect that every ones life did. it doesn’t work that way

  • Jan Young

    I do not support the workers at $15.00 an hour. I do support a small increase along with annual increases, especially for workers who stay for years. To receive such a big raise, to protest and make demands will have it’s consequences: a lot less employees and a lot longer lines, causing a big ripple effect. It is unfortunate that a substantial amount of jobs are sent overseas, this is where corporate america could help, bring those jobs back at fair wages and stop outsourcing. Quiet frankly, minimal pay jobs are the majority of the jobs that are available. If one person won’t work for the pay, someone else will.

  • Will Snow

    I only visit fast food places when on the road, but I see a lot of employees walking around, talking to other employees and very little work, pay them the $15 for the time they actually work and it will average out to about $7.25 hour

  • Peggy Kitrel- Blake

    no, that’s more than some workers in other industries make. people who are in school shouldn’t make 15 an hr. there are otherswho have been at jobs a lot longer and don’t even make or come close to 15 hr and have families who have struggled to makeends meet

    • D Lowrey

      It’s fantastic that you are more than happy to make the judgement that those in school and attempting to support their families should be on public assistance. Either all of you who can’t stand it that the less fortunate who may never get off assistance don’t have the same chance for a better life than you do. Make sure when we all are judged by our Maker that I can hear your pitiful excuses on why you were more than unwilling to help others without food/shelter.

  • Selena Barton

    As much as people wish to scream how it hurts the economy to raise their pay or the franchise owner to pay, we need to pay these people. I worked for a Wendy’s for 2 1/2 years while I was in college. The franchise owner capped wages at $8.00, but not because it would eat all his profits. He didn’t want to pay his employees who had been there for years. After your raises (10 cents to 25 cents each) hit $8, you would never again get a raise. It punishes the employees that are staying. Not paying these employees a true wage that will pay the bills puts them on welfare so either way, we as a nation are going to pay these people. Either upfront when we eat or in our taxes so why are we yelling about paying it to them now? As for unskilled labor, I find that label rather insulting. My uncle thinks himself too good to work fast food, but he eats out nearly every day. People forget that these are people working just like they do trying to survive and doing a days work for that pay. It may not be an accountant, but it’s hard work on those busy days just like for the accountant during tax time (and yes, I’ve done taxes professionally as well). No one wants the fast food worker’s job, but they don’t want to pay them to do it either. People need to realize that the dollar more per burger really isn’t as bad as the taxes that they are hoping to raise by not paying for the burger.

    I wish them all good luck. They are going to need it.

  • smokey347

    sure, let’s pay them $20, $25, hell why not $50.00 an hour? and don’t forget health insurance, sick days, paid vacations, the whole list of goodies. but ask yourself this: how long before MickeyD’s realizes it can’t sell a Big Mac for $6-$7-$8.00? how long till they’re laying workers off or closing some outlets? what then, add these workers to the already bulging unemployment roles? who pays for that, the rich again? pretty soon we do run out of rich you know. set the kool-aid down libatards and think, strange as that may seem, before you mouth off.

  • RLM

    No, I have a college degree and work part time for a school district and only get 13.00 per hr with no benefits. Justify why they should make this much money per hour?

    • Juan Lopez

      Easily as they indirectly benefit you as they will pay more taxation which in return will pay you better. Instead of complaining about workers who want to make livable wage, there should be protest again the wealthy & conservative economist who destroyed the FDR middle class.

  • RLM

    No, I have a college degree and am a part time teacher. The District pays me 13.00 per hour – no benefits. We haven’t had a raise for over 8 years!

  • fedup

    No. Fast jobs are considered entry level jobs. A place for young workers to get experience and then move up. For others who find themselves “stuck” in the fast food scene, there are opportunities to advance within and all effort should be made to do so to earn more money. Increase minimum wages, there’ll be fewer hired, prices will go up, people will eat out less and everyone loses. If your needs are greater than the fast food wages are fulfilling, then sharpen your skills and find a better paying job.

  • Cindy Kadinger

    Your response is well said. Our educational institutions no longer teach micro and macro-economics, therefore some writing in this forum have no basic understanding of business. More pointedly, why are some folks have lost their incentive to strive for a better life and are seemingly content to work in fast food or retail and other low paying jobs is beyond me. I’ve seen so many kids make the decision to give into their more base instincts and just choose the low-rung lifestyle. Even if you start out in the fast food industry and work there for more than 2 years, you should be striving to grow within the company and work towards management. Just because life handed you a rotten deal (just suppose for a minute that we have no control over our lives) doesn’t mean you stop looking for growth and opportunity. One of my children was born with a learning disability, she doesn’t let that hold her back at all. She chose a profession she is passionate about and is working towards being the boss someday, without government help.
    The old adage “We make our bed and must lie in it” has merit, we all are responsible for our own destiny. Young girls that get pregnant at a very young age have already made a conscious choice to undermine their future. Young men that want the path of least resistance, will find them selves in the ditch of life. This is America, after all.

  • Juan Lopez

    “I would be willing to bet that the people that wish to organize and raise the minimum wage really don’t care about these workers but other union workers whose contract have multipliers tied the minimum wage.” That is statement is dumb as the point of trade unions is to fight for higher wages.

    “What people who advocate for higher wages seem to never take into account is the total investment of the owner in the business who must make a profit to stay in business.” Just like Western Europe as if you can’t pay workers well, you should not be in business.

    “Labor cost in the food industry are typically somewhere between 20-25% of sales so either the price of items go up to cover a higher labor cost or the number of worker go down to stay at the target if prices remain the same.” It doesn’t have to as again their is no bases for that as Australia showed after one year after 15 USD, there has been no significant change.

  • Juan Lopez

    “People need to live and eat, of course, but people also need to be incentivized to acquire more education and skills.”
    People need to pay for education so that is mute point.

  • Juan Lopez

    “People with college degrees only make slightly more than that. I think the current minimum wage rate is fair. While I was in school I worked at a drive thru making just over minimum wage and I was able to afford rent and a car payment, etc. If anyone working at a fast food restaurant can make $15 an hour people might start quitting other jobs to go work there.”

    There is no bases for that like Nordic Nations show.

    “$15 an hour is steep. People with college degrees only make slightly more than that. I think the current minimum wage rate is fair.”
    since the Reagan Revolution that is now a true statement. You could before make 5.50 USD (11 USD in today’s) & for low wage with pay little for college.

  • I cant believe this

    nitemare2 Many fast food workers are college students. You are clueless. These companies offer scholarships and continuing education incentives. Do some research before you talk out of your butt hole

  • Medicine-is-My-Game

    No, I would never support that. $15/hour to flip a burger versus $8/hour to care for patients? Never would I support that.