December 5th, 2013
09:30 AM ET
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Fast food protests aren't going away.

Organizers say fast food restaurant workers in 100 U.S. cities will walk off the job Thursday, as part of a continuing push to raise wages above $15 an hour in the industry and secure the right to unionize.

The movement began with a small walkout in New York City last year and has since gathered momentum. Strikes this past August drew fast food workers in 60 cities, organizers said.

The National Restaurant Association contends that the demonstrations are a "coordinated PR campaign engineered by national labor groups," and that "relatively few restaurant workers have participated" in past demonstrations.

A McDonald's spokeswoman said the events planned for Thursday "are not strikes," and consist only of outside groups "traveling to McDonald's and other outlets to stage rallies."

Industry officials have criticized the campaign, claiming increased starting wages will hold back job growth and increase prices.

The effort has drawn support from the Service Employees International Union, one of the country's largest, as well as activist groups. A petition that has drawn nearly 50,000 online signatures calls on industry leaders "to pay your workers $15 an hour so they can make ends meet and Americans can stop paying for the hidden costs of poverty wages."

Read - Fresh fast food strikes planned for Thursday

Does your favorite restaurant take the high road with its workers?
Get on the bus! Meet the folks who clean up your restaurant mess
'We are servers not servants!'

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Filed under: Fast Food • Human Rights • Labor Issues

soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. resveratrol dosage

    It's very simple to find out any topic on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this article
    at this web page.

    October 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
  2. Charity

    So they want 15 an hour to mess up orders of making simple hamburgers. How about they get some training and skills for better jobs with better wages. It's an entry level job, you flip burgers get fries and nuggets out of a fryer, not worth 15 an hour. Ppl just want free money for doing nothing!

    May 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
  3. ohnooooos

    Extortion at it finest. You morons will never get 15/hr, you are simply not worth it.

    December 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  4. Carn E. Vore

    I'd fire every single one that didn't show up for work. Within a week I'd have them replaced and their replacements trained. That's how valuable their skill set is.

    December 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Mandela

      Yes sir, with so many Americans un or under employed, to quote Nike, the first company to take advantage of "poor country" economics, You Can Do This. America is poor. Welcome to the 21st Century version of slavery.

      December 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
  5. Joey

    Pay should be based on performance. No one is equal. If they get a raise, does that mean my orders are going to be correct......................probably not.

    December 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • working hard too

      I know this is going to offend a lot of people, but want to state my view. I understand that working for $8 and hour is hard. But as far as I can see, those working at fast food establishments should not see this as a career goal. When I was young we saw fast food employment as an entry into the real working world. If they really want to aspire to a brighter future they should seek education that makes them a good investment for the future. I have 7 years post high school education ( some of which I have paid for myself, the rest in student loans). I have education and experience, and yet I, as do many of my colleagues, make only a fraction more than the $15 an hour that fast food employees think they are entitled. There are many that will balk at paying more for goods and services because employers will pass those rising costs down to the consumer. Or, the employer will simply do away with the people side of the equation in it's service model. One only needs to look at some of the corporations that are placing "tablets" at restaurant tables for ordering, thus eliminating the waitstaff middleman

      December 7, 2013 at 12:10 am |
      • Jack Sourac

        In theory, yeah, that would work. But 48% of all minimum wage earners are adult women, many of whom are single mothers. They have no sites on "moving up the ladder". This is about putting food on the table and clothing kids.

        December 7, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Carn E. Vore

          Keeping your legs closed is a pretty smart choice if you have a low-paying job and can't afford kids.

          December 7, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  6. painspeaks

    Reblogged this on The Daily Advocate By Painspeaks.

    December 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  7. loosely AleeD

    It doesn't bother me. I just lie on my back and spread and I get paid
    If you know what I mean

    December 6, 2013 at 6:44 am |
    • Truth™

      Your uncle is calling and wants you in the barn immediately. And he says to bring the KY if you don't want to hurt this time. He said you whined way too much last time.

      December 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Dick Longwood


      December 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
      • tool


        December 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  8. Michael

    I would pay double for a hamburger to get rid of these minimum wage workers. So pay $15 per hour for employees and fire all of these protesters. This is not a life time career. This job is for teens that are heading for college to better themselves.....if you are planning on supporting a family at a fast food restaurant you are a loser.

    December 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • ∞ Weeds ∞

      The only place in town I've seen teenagers working in a fast food joint is at Chick-fil-a. Just about everywhere else it is staffed by adults, of many nationalities and many are just learning English.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • ∞ Weeds ∞

      Something no one has considered here is the fact that most all fast food places are franchises. The corporation sets food prices. The corporation makes profits selling food items to the franchise. Yes, the owner of a franchise has to buy all of his food and uniforms from his parent company. In addition he also has to pay a monthly "tribute" to the corporation as well. It is a licensing thing. After that he has rent, utilities and lastly, salaries. If there is anything left he/she can bank it for that month when the sales don't cut the mustard, so to speak.
      The risk is all on the franchise owner.
      If the minimum wage were to go up, you can bet corporate won't give the franchise owners any quarter.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:29 am |
      • VladT

        Aaaaa!!!!! Facts and Logic?!??!?

        Stop! Stop!!!!!!!!!!

        December 6, 2013 at 3:47 am |
        • The Witty One


          December 6, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  9. Edwin

    It's an ENTRY LEVEL JOB. You're not supposed to be able to support a family on a fast food income. Zero sympathy for these people. A fast food restaurant manager can have some kid trained to do most of these jobs in one day. In what crazy world does unskilled labor warrant $15 an hour?

    December 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  10. ThisGuy83

    $15 an hour for entry level positions?!?! Seriously?.... No. Sorry. They get no sympathy from me. You want more pay then go out and earn it. Go to school, earn grants, scholarships and do like many have done, work full time and go to school full time. I did it, made tuition and only had $100 to eat with every month while the rest went to bills, expenses and anything else that a college student needed.

    December 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  11. Dave

    Ridiculous... If I was the the manager or accountant, probably making $35/$40k a year, cutting these folks checks, I'd stage a protest.... Then no one would get paid.

    December 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  12. Truth™

    Well, I walked into town at lunch and saw nobody protesting at any fast food places. The fact that it was also five degrees might have had something to do with it...

    December 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  13. cultivEat

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Billion dollar companies *can* afford to pay a living wage.

    December 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • The Witty One

      Some can.

      Some can't.

      Billions of dollars on a balance sheet doesn't mean anything if you don't have the cash flow to pay.

      In the end, the cost gets passed on to the consumer anyway, so maybe this is a good thing? Higher fast food prices mean less people can afford to eat it!

      December 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • Mandela

        Yes sir, its all about the stockholders, who want a big dividend check. And the upper management's multimillion dollar bonuses on top of their seven and eight figure salaries for posting a good quarter. Cut those costs to the bone.
        The non exempt employees – run them to into the ground. The best thing trickle down economics did is create a huge supply of have-nots, those who have lost their jobs to outsourcing and will work for practically nothing, which is, the minimum wage.
        This is the new millenniums form of slavery .

        December 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  14. Proudparent

    Like many, i worked fast food as a kid. True, it's a dirty, unappreciated, lowly-paid job. But i did what you're supposed to do – I moved on when i grew up.

    December 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • The Witty One

      Exactly. What ever happened to the mentality of "my life sucks, I sure don't want my kids to grow up like this"? Or maybe, "If I bust my arse, maybe I can move up in the company and make something of myself, even if that is only a manager at McDonalds"? Nowadays, it's more of "GIMMEGIMMEGIMMEMINEMINEMINE" and " the world owes me and life should be easy". If you try really hard, you can make something of yourself. Having parents with money sure helps, but that isn't the only way to make it in this country.

      Funny though, how the guy on a visa (or not) from Mexico isn't complaining about his wages. He is living in an apartment with 3-4 other people AND sending money home to his family. He manages to survive just fine...

      December 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        McDonalds has always been a good company for those that want to move up. Management pays pretty darn well, too , if you run an efficient store. My HS girlfriend was a shift manager as a TEENAGER and had the road paved to McDizzle's corporate world if she wanted to at a pretty young age.

        Instead she ran off with me to Arizona when we graduated, lol

        December 5, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  15. AleeD®

    I put myself thru school by working in the fast food industry & as grocery store cashier. While I did not want to chase either as a career, it served as a sufficient means to an end. In several fast food corporations, possibly the grocery industry as well, there are programs to guide and/or educate employees up the corporate ladder. If you want a $15 an hour job, get into one of those programs and work your way up.

    December 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Flip

      And I bet you did this almost 30 years ago when full time tuition cost under $300. Have you any idea how much tuition costs these days?

      December 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • AleeD®

        HA! You lose!

        Bitter, party of one at the STFU cafe'. Right this way, sir. Right this way.

        December 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Flip

          Can't, I'm not going to sit any where near you. You must be a cranky old withered prune with that attitude. did you get that in college to? What sorority taught you your manners?

          December 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • VladT

          Does me working two jobs, one full and one part time while attending college in my twenties qualify as an old prune as well?

          I think the "you lose, STFU" works quite well

          December 6, 2013 at 3:43 am |
      • Proudparent

        Working hard and making good decisions for yourself may sound like "ancient" advice from 30 years ago, but you will someday learn (or not?) that this advice is timeless.

        Then again, whining and complaining is timeless, too.

        December 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Flip

      Let us start out in TODAY's reality.
      That grocery store cashier position that gets better pay: Sandy has had that job for more than 8 years, she likes her job because she can walk to work and also have time with her kids. Stocking shelves is only available part time – this way the store saves money by not paying out for vacations and health insurance. Management positions: let's say someone is going to have retire before one of those open up.
      It is the same way in the food industry and especially big box stores.
      Companies will not invest in training for someone they know is only going to be around a few years.
      In short all your wonderful job opportunities you had when you were in college do not exist.
      So maybe you should stay at your table for dunce at your STFU cafe until you know more about this subject.

      December 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • Learn Some Manners@Flip

        Let me guess, you are an unemployed twentysomething still living in Mom's basement.

        December 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
      • The Witty One@Flip

        Plenty of companies pay for training nowadays. I will agree that the number is probably less than it was 30, or even 10, years ago. I am actually required to take 40 hours a year of training. Smart companies train their employees and those are the ones you want to work for anyway, right?

        December 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
      • Proudparent

        Try this Flip – create your own opportunities, or work harder – just keep your hands out of my wallet.

        December 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • AleeD®

        Talk about getting in touch with the real world. Whew! Tuition hasn't been "under $300" since before WWII. In case your math skills need sharpening along with your history lessons, that was over 70 years ago. When your mommie lets you out of the basement, sign up for a few history courses.

        The point you missed, I'm happy to say, was supported by The Witty One. If you are lucky enough to have a job in today's fast food industry, there are ways to work yourself up the corporate ladder. That's the current reality.

        December 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Flip

          Let me give you just a little schooling, something you should do on your own sometime. Reading is good for you even when you are as old. It keeps your brain from turning to mush.
 is a table of Average Undergraduate Tuition.
          Notice on the first line, 1976, two year college annual tuition and fees: $346.00. In 2006-7 the cost is $2,511. I agree with you on one point and that is I haven't found tuition that cheap. My local community college instate tuition is roughly $150.00 a credit hour.

          Seriously, you should learn a little about the subject before you speak out.

          December 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • The Witty One@Flip

          Calm down there Skippy!

          I am sensing a fallacy here. AleeD may have been wrong in her statement, and cudos for actually coming to the table with some facts, but I think the original point of this is as follows.

          If you work really hard, it will eventually get noticed. If it doesn't, then move on to some other job that will notice your hard work.

          I think we are just against people being paid a higher rate just "because".

          It isn't the job you work, it's how you work it.

          December 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • AleeD®@Flip

          If having experience, working hard and speaking in full sentences intimidates you, good. Maybe I've p i ssed you off enough so you'll go out, occupy something and change the world. Opportunities are all around you, sunshine. Learn to recognize them and make them work for you instead of sitting in front of a computer and tapping out derogatory BS about people you don't have a clue about. The protesting that's going on is a lovely way to exercise your First Amendment rights – by the way, that's all about free speech, moonpie.

          December 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

          Dang. I thought he was going to trick her into telling us her age.

          December 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  16. :O !

    Good for them! Corporate greed-time to pay your workers.

    December 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • And another Obamaite rings in...

      YEAH! Make "the rich" pay their "fair share"! (whatever that is)

      Meantime, where's my IPhone? I need to tweet about how I hate corporations!

      December 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • VladT

      I agree....someone who knows how to press the "no pickles" picture button deserves more then a medical know, someone medically trained to assess a patient and apply their knowledge and training to assist a physician in making you healthy.

      Then again, if they mess up, I get a new burger....if a medical assistant messes up, I get a lawsuit.

      Occupy McDonald's!!!!

      December 6, 2013 at 3:42 am |
  17. Professor Trollworth

    The problem here class, is what is called "Structural Unemployment"...This is a term that describes what happens when large segments of workers are no longer needed. An example would be Detroit auto workers when many auto manufacturing jobs went overseas.

    Fast food jobs were never intended to support a family. Unfortunately though, with so many unemployed Americans seeking ANY employment, many find themselves trying to support a family on fast food wages.

    Couple this with the high dropout rate in public schools and illegal immigration, and many lower qualified workers are feeling the wage squeeze.

    The solution here is to not simply demand more money. If wages rise due to artificial means above equilibrium, then more qualified workers will come in and displace the first employees.

    The solution here is for the presently underpaid employees to learn and acquire new and more relevant skills. When you have no spouse, two kids and no vehicle, quitting tenth grade does not seem like such a great idea, now does it?

    Class dismissed.

    December 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Flip

      Professor, how may one pursue a higher education or gain greater technical skills when both require copious amounts of money. More money than a minimum wage job could provide and that is not including living expenses? Since minimum wage workers have minimum money, they also have minimum credit, making getting a loan out of the question.
      Let me state this in a form that may be easier for you to understand. How can I afford to improve myself when I can barely afford to live?

      December 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
      • Professor Trollworth@Flip

        Keep in mind that every year, vast sums of financial aid, scholarships and grants go unclaimed each year. Also consider the community college system, which truly is the best bargain in higher education today. Also, ask if your employer offers any form of tuition assistance (even the hated WalMart does)

        Start with your local school's financial aid office, also use public libraries, the internets, and word of mouth, especially for scholarships (go to your intended major's department chair for guidance). It truly is a waste that financial assistance goes unused. Also, if you are a veteran, use your GI benefits. Get every bit of training you can, on someone else's dime if at all possible.

        December 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • The Witty One@Flip

        Join the military? I believe that they will pay for college, even after you get out!

        December 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • The Witty One@Flip

        I think the real question is, How can you afford not to?

        Deep man...deep.

        December 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • Proudparent

        How? It's called HARD WORK, Flip. You may have heard about this odd phenomenon from decades ago. Or, continue whining and crying – that may pay off for you too – your call.

        December 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Flip

          You must be John Snow, you know nothing. And even less about me. I think working 2 jobs is working hard, I'd work 1 full time job if one was available, but places around here mainly offer 30 hour weeks, no vacation, no health insurance. They will give me a course on how to apply for food stamps and other federal aid. But I don't take charity. That is so thoughtful of them...

          December 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • daver

        I think that is part of the problem, Flip. Many people would think handing out $15 and hour just because people won't go out and pull themselves up by their bootstraps is charity. Go ahead and take the Federal money in food help and education grants and loans, learn a valuable skill, and become an adult. I did. It was very hard work for many years and not any time for partying and goofing off. Now I pay more in taxes every year than Uncle Sam ever gave me in a year. That is why it isn't charity, it is an investment. Those forms of support combined with effort lift you up and out of that situation. $15 and hour removes the incentive to change your circumstances and in 20 years you will be asking for $28 an hour because a meal at Taco Bell will be $25.

        December 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  18. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    I say again, if BK and McDizzle's starts paying $15/hr I'm walking away from job in the healthcare industry o go flip burgers.

    Good luck, lol

    December 5, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  19. Snowbunny

    $15/hr to work at BK? I'd do it part time! Damn....

    December 5, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  20. The Witty One, Part Time CEO

    I agree with paying people a living wage but I sort of feel like that amount varies depending on where you live.

    If I was a corporation and had to pay my works a minimum wage of 15 bucks an hour, I would fire half my workers and bring in the "Bobs", if you will, to figure out ways to bump up the remaining employees efficiency. Then I would automate absolutely everything I could and do another round of RIFs and sit back and watch my profits grow!

    December 5, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Truth™@TWO

      See attached. If these people are not careful, they will protest themselves right out of work...,3396583

      I've been in this McD's and it really is interesting. You can place your order, pay and get your meal with no human interaction...

      December 5, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        Not only that, but at that rate per hour in this economy, Shanequa will suddenly be competing with someone fresh out of college with a degree for the job she called in sick for 4 times last month. lol

        December 5, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • mgcady

        I saw a bunch of these at a JFK food court.

        December 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  21. Nick

    They want more than $15 an hour?!?! This job takes no skill whatsoever and they want that much an hour? Thats more than a low ranking soldier in the military is getting paid!

    December 5, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • JS

      $15 is ridiculous!! Many college educated people and SKILLED laborers do not make $15 an hour.

      December 5, 2013 at 11:11 am |
  22. Truth™

    Comfy chair? Check
    Refreshing drink to enjoy? Check
    Snacks on hand? Check

    Ok, time to sit back, here we go again...

    December 5, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  23. Thought+Food

    Reblogged this on Thought + Food and commented:
    if a worker is paid a wage at which he/she cannot support themselves and their family, they will have to turn to other supports like food stamps. The bitter debate on cutting allocation for food stamps in the Farm Bill has this other dimension linked to wages as well.

    December 5, 2013 at 9:53 am |
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