Friday, May 31, 2013

Low-wage strikes starting to improve jobs

A number of fast-food and retail workers say their jobs improved after they walked out on their employer in a wave of one-day strikes over the past few months.

Fast-food workers in Seattle walked out of dozens of restaurants on Wednesday night and Thursday, marking the seventh one-day strike in the past eight weeks. Low-wage workers have gone on strike in New York, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee.

Now the workers say they are seeing some improvement in their jobs after returning. The Huffington Post reports:
Conditions, hours, positions and pay have improved for a number of workers who participated in strikes in the last two months, organizers say. They point to Krystal Collins in Chicago, who got a 0.25 cent hourly raise and was switched from part-time to full-time after walking off her job at Macy's in April, and to Claudette Wilson, Romell Frazier and Khalil Dorris in Detroit, who forced their Burger King to close for the day in early May and subsequently saw their hours increase.
Here are a few more examples, brought to you by CNN Money.

Before the strike:
Eddie Guzman needed to work at least 20 hours a week to be eligible for welfare programs, such as food stamps and affordable housing. But his requests for more hours at the Brooklyn Burger King were met with deaf ears. Guzman's managers kept his working hours between 12 and 15 a week. 
After the strike he was fired, but then: organizers and New York city council member Brad Lander went to the Burger King (BKW) to ask for his job back... 
Within days, Guzman had his job back and was scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week.
Robert Wilson a Chicago McDonald's employee, before the strike:
(He) spent eight years showing new employees the ropes and training others to get better positions at McDonald's. But he was never able to move up the ranks himself. 
That was until he and other workers rallied on Black Friday outside of the location where he worked in Chicago's Navy Pier. 
His managers saw Wilson protesting. The very next day, they told him that the position he had been gunning for was finally open.
One day longer, one day stronger!