Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fast food strikes in 58 cities in continuing wave of labor unrest

Atlanta Teamsters today marching on a McDonald's
in support of strikers.
UPDATES graf 3 to CORRECT Eidelson story at Salon, sted Nation

The biggest fast food strike in history is taking place right now as thousands of workers in 58 cities walked off the job at restaurants like McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell. They are protesting retaliation by their employers for trying to form a union.

The fast food strikes follow the first-ever one-day strike by L.A. port truck drivers seeking to join the Teamsters. More labor unrest is expected in the coming weeks as American workers are fed up with predatory CEOs who loot the profit from corporations while their workers' wages stagnate or decline.

Josh Eidelson at Salon reports:
Fast food workers today plan to mount one-day walkouts against nearly a thousand stores in over fifty cities — the largest-ever mobilization against their growing, low-wage, non-union industry, which until last fall had never faced a substantial U.S. strike. The work stoppage comes four weeks after a four-day, seven-city strike wave in which organizers say thousands walked off the job. 
Today, the strikes – which started with a single-city November work stoppage in New York — are expected to hit several cities. In each city – from Los Angeles to Peoria – workers are demanding a raise to $15 an hour, and the chance to form a union without intimidation by their boss. 
“I’m not a kid,” Raleigh, North Carolina, Little Caesar’s worker Julio Wilson told Salon. Rather, he said, “I am a single father, I have a daughter with special needs that needs attending to on a daily basis.” He said many of his co-workers and their families “need to be compensated to be able to live.”
Teamsters and union members are extremely supportive of the strikes. In Atlanta, Teamsters from Local 728 marched on a McDonald's in solidarity with the workers. Here are some comments from Facebook:
Kevin Abate Local 194 New Jersey{ Retired }Good Luck It's worth it. 
Mike Hopson Railroad workers are behind you! Mike from BLET 
Sam Gay Steamfitters local 486 are behind you. Hold the line! 
Jamil Burgos Teamsters local 63 "Good luck!" 
Jon Richardson Good luck guys Teamsters Local 89