Fast food workers for major chains, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC, are planning to start striking and walking off the job in at least eight U.S. cities on August 29th to demand higher wages.
Demanding a livable wage of $15 per hour, the strike will occur on Labor Day weekend, and not coincidentally. And, the strike will also take place on the day after the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which also addressed giving all Americans a livable wage. At the time, that was $2 per hour. When adjusted for inflation, that comes to $15.26 per hour, but most fast food workers make about half of that.
And despite the stereotype of teenagers flipping burgers after school, most fast food workers are adults, many with families to support. Willietta Dukes, a 39-year-old mother of two, told The Washington Post that she’s been employed by a Burger King location in Durham, N.C. for more than 15 years but only makes $8.65 an hour, and is often not even scheduled for a 40-hour work week. “I have been watching on TV, and I have seen a lot of people forming around the country, striking for better wages and to have their voices heard. I think it is high time that I did something,” Dukes told the Post. “I work hard. I don’t sit around. I am good at what I do. Yet after working all day, I do not earn enough to even pay for the basics. I don’t want to be in poverty forever.”
The website, Low Pay is Not OK says ” Thousands of workers are going on a national strike on August 29 to demand better pay and better treatment,” because “low-wage jobs are the fastest growing jobs in the nation and they need to pay more so that workers like us can make ends meet. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC and other corporations are making billions in profits, but they’re paying poverty wages and keeping the entire economy down. We’ve had enough. And we’re not alone.”
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
Image: Low Pay is Not Ok