August 29th, 2013
10:30 PM ET
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Fast food workers in 60 cities across the U.S. walked off the job Thursday as they protest for higher wages.

Workers from fast food giants McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Yum Brands-owned KFC are calling on their employers to pay them a minimum of $15 an hour and allow them to form unions without retaliation.

Currently, the median pay for the fast food workers across the country is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That's roughly $4,500 lower than Census Bureau's poverty income threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

Organizers called the action the largest strike ever to hit the $200 billion fast-food industry. As of Thursday afternoon, they still did not have a precise estimate for how many workers were involved, but said the figure was in the thousands.

Strikes took place in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis and dozens of other cities.

Read - Wave of fast food strikes hits 60 cities

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soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Medic

    What are they responsible for that entails them to 15 dollars an hour? As a paramedic I make 14 dollars an hour. The decisions I make are far more consequential than fowling up someone's order.

    September 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
  2. perineal

    The anti-raise-the-wage people are missing that tax money is being used to supplement many of these workers' incomes.
    Raising the minimum wage pushes that cost onto the people using the service supplied by the low skilled labor, versus being paid by the tax payers at large.

    May 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
  3. Boydog

    The median age for these workers is 35 years old. America has changed. It is a capitalist society you get what you negotiate, period. May the best man win.

    August 31, 2013 at 2:04 am |
    • shane

      Listen there not going nor do fast food workers deserve 15 an hour. That is a ton of money to do nothing.. i social working which you need a masters for would make the same as them a year. It simply doesn't make at all, if there going to start getting paid 15 an hour, everyone working hard labor jobs mine as well quit and go work at a fast food joint. The average or below average idiot can work at a fast food place.

      May 9, 2014 at 7:35 am |
      • JellyBean

        LMAO! I just love trolls.

        May 9, 2014 at 7:49 am |
  4. Tony

    If they started paying burger flippers $15/hr... I would quit my job as a network administrator and work at micky-d's or burger king in a heart beat. Less stress, more time with the family, I don't have to take my work home with me..unless it's food.

    August 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Shirely U. Jest

      If ~ $15/hr is all you make as a "network administrator" you are either very under paid or your are very lousy at your job. And if the later is the case perhaps you should quit your job and do something you have a better skill set with, like flipping burgers.

      And I see that you reference as have been sucked into the ruse given to exempt employees – work longer hours, be a professional... Divide you salary by your actual hours of work and you may find you are making as much as fast food workers are now.

      September 4, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  5. Jade_Alpha

    Go ahead, demand higher wages, I've got robots to sell and y'all just might make my quarter.

    August 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  6. Edwin

    I'm 100% on the side of the fast food companies on this one. I hate that these entitled brats think that their unskilled labor warrants that kind of income. Do they not realize how easily replaceable they are?

    August 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Out of curiosity, do you eat at fast food places?

      August 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • RC

        Should that matter?

        August 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • Edwin

        Don't see how it matters, but I do on ocassion when I'm in a rush. Why do you ask?

        August 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • Kat Kinsman

          I guess I'm just surprised that you interact directly with these workers and use their services, but call them "entitled," "easily replaceable" and "unskilled." Do you not think that any attitude or lack of enthusiasm might stem from the fact that they're not making very much money, and that they know the people they're serving think so little of them?

          September 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        • Edwin

          I do, but as callous as it may sound, how is that my problem? They ARE easily replaceable and they know it. A low-skill job will get you low pay. That's just the way the world works.

          Fast food is not meant to be anything more than a temporary job, maybe to help you pay your way through college or to earn a little extra on the side. If this job has become your livelyhood you need to take a long hard look at where it all went wrong.

          September 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • Edwin

        So...not gonna answer me, Kat?

        September 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Paul Williamson

      They are not "entitled brats", they are hardworking young and many times older people working hard and trying to make a living.They are entitled to a living wage; McDonalds makes an obscene profit and can very well raise the salaries $3 or $4
      an hour, and you sir , can afford to pay $2 for a $1.29 McDouble. I own a manufacturing company and would be ashamed to pay any of my workers less than $13 /hour, even the new ones with no real skills (we train them on the job). After a year I pay $15 to $16/hour, which I consider (barely) a living wage. I also pay my gardener and other hired help a minimum of $17/hour, and feel they are worth it.

      September 1, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
      • Dan

        Out of curiosity, how many employees work for you and what do you pay your employees the first year and while they are being trained? How long does the training process for one of your employees take? It seems as if the job you offer requires more than a minimal skill, therefore demands higher wages. I commend you on paying a higher wage to your skilled employees. What if your employees went on strike and demanded they make $30 an hour for the same job, that you trained them for. Your gardner and other hired help suddenly get a sense of entitlement and demand $40 an hour. How easily replaceable are they? Are there other gardners who will do the same quality job for a cheaper rate than $40 an hour? What would you do? How would this sudden increase in wages effect you and your financial situation .In smaller businesses, it may be easier to raise the rates of 10 or even 100 employees. In the case of McDonalds with Lord knows how many employees, raising the hourly wage from $9 to $15 for an unskilled, part time job would be insanely expensive. Could the full time salaried upper-management cut back on their "corporate greed" ? They could probably afford to take a hit. But the question again to you goes. How would it effect you if your employees demanded a $6 per hour pay bump for doing the same job that they have been doing all along?

        September 2, 2013 at 7:43 am |
  7. Rich

    Except for the people in management, the Fast Food industry is not a career. Those are first time jobs for teenagers, college students working part time, etc. If they raised the fast food industry pay to $15.00 per hour it would only hurt the middle class. Inflation would eat the raise within a year or two. Then the people that are currently working careers starting at $15.00 area would suffer. A lot of young people with 2 and 4 year degrees start old working at those rates. I would suggest to any fast food employee to use that for job experience and move on. Apply for a Pell grant or join the service and receive the G.I. Bill and go to college. I’m not belittling the work, I understand it is hard and honest work; however, it does not require a high skill set. Most fast food employees and be trained up within one to two weeks. You want to feel valued as an employee, then make yourself valuable with education.

    August 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Paul Williamson

      Who is going to serve you a burger with fries if they all go to college and get better jobs? A raise will not hurt the middle class, they piss away so much money on their toys (boats, RVs, trucks) they will never miss it.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
      • Dan

        The people with no drive and determination to better themselves. The guy or gal who is happy to work a minimum skilled job for minimum wage.That is who will serve your burger. If you aren't happy with your current situation, make a change.

        September 2, 2013 at 7:24 am |
        • Shirely U. Jest

          You forgot to include once highly paid professionals whose jobs disappeared during the recession. I surmise you are one of the fortunate 2% that still say wide eyed "Recession? What Recession?"

          September 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • Dan

          I'm one of the ones that has had a job before the age of 15. I mowed lawns in my teenage years, and worked fast food and factory jobs through highschool. I also worked 20-40 hours a week through college, that I paid for. I now work part time and am starting my own business. I'm putting in 10-15 hours a day between both jobs. Late nights. Early mornings. Point is, I've worked hard for what I've gotten. If one job doesn't provide enough, I find another that will or work hard to move to a position that pays more. I've made my own fate instead of being lazy and relying on others to provide for me.
          If you aren't making enough money at your current job, find another job where you will make enough to sustain yourself and your family. Work more hours. Look at your spending. Live within your means. No extras. No fluff. Stop bitching. Start working.

          September 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  8. Three words...


    August 30, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Paul Williamson

      Then... fire... you.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
  9. shut up already!

    What a bunch or morons! You want to make more money, go school and get an education! These idiots think they deserve 15 an hour just for showing up! I worked in fast food when I was younger its not that hard and 9.00 an hour is plenty for the work that is required. Stupid unions trying to get more minions to join, look what the unions did to the American automotive 25 an hour to put lug nuts on a car. All that money and our cars are still a joke compared to the Germans and the Japs. We are not even in the same universe as the Italians when it comes to performance cars!

    August 30, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • tylerl

      Your just a raging moron

      September 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • RC

        Says the guy with bad grammar/punctuation.

        September 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  10. Pondering

    Fast food worker-bees don't have regular hours. Most are scheduled at 4 hour intervals. I can't help but wonder how many of these so-called strikers were actually scheduled to work during the time of the protests. A strike implies that work was stopped. From the pix on this post, several of these places were still in operation. If so, then those "strikers" really weren't causing work to be stopped – they were protesting on their own time. Good for them, but that's not striking, that's just protesting. Bad journalism.

    Sounds like the SEIU is trying to drum up new membership fees and has targeted this industry. What a sham. You aren't supposed to make a living at McD's. It's not supposed to be that kind of job. It's supposed to be the kind of work that either gets your foot in the door to climb that particular corporation's ladder or put you thru school or earns you extra money for your first car or those designer jeans, etc. I hope the fast food industry stands their ground.

    August 30, 2013 at 7:12 am |
    • Paul Williamson

      I hope the greedy bastards rot in hell.

      September 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
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