Hayes: Fast food worker strike is akin to civil rights struggle
On Thursday night’s edition of the new MSNBC show, “All In,” host Chris Hayes saluted the striking fast food workers in New York City.
More than 400 employees from 60 restaurants walked off the job in New York City Thursday, demanding better wages and the right to organize. The action followed a smaller strike last November.
Hayes invited viewers to “put yourself in the shoes of someone making minimum wage” like a Domino’s delivery driver named Gregory who spoke to the New York Times. Gregory, who has a 3-year-old daughter, makes $7.25 an hour and is trying to live in New York City, one of the most prohibitively expensive urban areas in the country.
“Life in new york city at $7.25 an hour,” said Hayes, “is bailing out a boat with a hole that keeps getting bigger. You cannot make the math work. No amount of hard work makes $7.25 an hour add up to a livable wage. No amount of determination or stoic nobility makes the math work. The math does not work at $7.25 an hour. If you make $7.25 an hour, you will be poor and you will be in debt.”
Hayes noted that the situation of striking fast food workers is closely analogous to that of the Memphis sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968. Those workers were supported by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who spoke in Memphis on their behalf on the day he was killed 45 years ago. He rolled video of King’s historic speech from April 4 of that year.
“We are saying we are determined to be men, we are determined to be people. We are saying that we are God’s children. And that we don’t have to live like we are forced to live,” King said.
“In 45 years,” he asked, “will we look back at today at this unlikely strike in New York City as the starting point of a struggle that will not end, but that could lead to a more decent wage and dignity of work for these workers and millions of other people who serve and cook food for a living in this country?”
Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below: