Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2nd day of fast food strikes hit Kansas City, St. Louis

Fast food strike in Kansas City
Fast food workers walked off the job today in Kansas City and St. Louis, fed up with poverty wages and employer retaliation. The action followed a one-day strike in New York City by hundreds of workers at fast food restaurants such as Wendy's, McDonald's and Burger King.

In Kansas City today, a Family Dollar worker inspired by the fast food strike walked off the job and joined the action.

Andre Houston, a McDonald's crew member in St. Louis, is featured on the "Low Wage Is Not OK" Facebook page. The message: His family relies on his salary just to live. His family can't survive on poverty wages.

Sixty Teamster first responders in El Centro, Calif, are also striking Gold Cross Ambulance for a third day. They're fighting against low wages and substandard equipment that puts patients at risk.

The labor unrest will continue to escalate through the rest of the week with short strikes against fast food companies in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee. And in San Francisco, McKesson will face a large Teamster protest tomorrow because it retaliates against workers for trying to form a union. 

Time Magazine compared this week's industrywide strikes to the wave of actions that galvanized the labor movement during the 1930s:
This week’s walk-outs seem less about truly unionizing (even though the workers’ efforts have received support from the Service Employees International Union) and more about building public momentum for a higher minimum wage. Instead of taking the traditional route of trying to reach some sort of collective bargaining agreement, they’re betting that an Occupy-style public awareness campaign, based on the idea that their wages are inherently unfair, perpetuate inequality and fail to move them up the economic ladder, will lead to change at either the state or federal level.
Sign the petition demanding no retaliation against fast food strikers here. And give them a Facebook Like here.