Quantcast

Fast-food workers protest for a living wage in New York City

By Arturo Garcia
Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:00 EDT
google plus icon
NYC fast food workers protest 112912
 
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Workers from a number of fast food chains around New York City held walkouts and demonstrations calling for a living wage Thursday morning.

According to The Atlantic, the protests, part of the Fast Food Forward campaign, were organized by groups like New York Communities for Change (NYCC), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and community organizations in a push to get them to form a union.

The impetus for the campaign, said NYCC organizing director Jonathan Westin, was his group’s discovering that most employees at companies like Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken couldn’t cover basic necessities like transit fare or food, or even to be able to make their rent making the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, forcing them to rely on public assistance.

“The fast-food industry employs tens of thousands of workers in New York and pays them poverty wages,” Westin told The New York Times. “A lot of them can’t afford to get by. A lot have to rely on public assistance, and taxpayers are often footing the bill because these companies are not paying a living wage.”

In a video released by the campaign Wednesday, one employee who lives in a shelter says nearly all of his paycheck goes toward basic needs.

“After taxes I see no more than $220 [a week],” said Wendy’s employee Joshua Williams. “Most of that money goes toward my son and food and transportation throughout the week.”

The Times reported that the first walkout occurred at a McDonald’s at Madison Avenue and 40th Street, where 14 of the restaurant’s 17 morning shift employees went on strike. At least two more protests were scheduled for Thursday.

Watch footage from one demonstration, streamed Thursday morning by ‘On The Front Lines,’ below.



Video streaming by Ustream

And Joshua Williams and McDonald’s employee Chyna Scott talk about trying to make a living on fast-food wages in this video from Fast Food Forward below.

[Image courtesy of Lisa Riddock]

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
 
 
 
 
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
 
Google+