Similar demonstrations aimed at raising fast-food workers’ wages took place earlier in the year in Chicago and New York
A series of industrial protests hitting America’s gigantic fast food industry has spread to cities in the Midwest as workers from several national chain restaurants have gone out on strike for better pay.
On Friday in Detroit organisers were expecting at least 400 workers from at least 60 stores to come out and protest. Organisers said early actions had already seen restaurants, including several McDonald’s branches, a Long John Silver’s and a Popeye’s, forced to close by the attention of strikers.
The action comes a day after two days of similar protest in St Louis, Missouri, which saw 100 workers walk off their jobs at chains like Wendy’s, Domino’s and Jimmy John’s. It also follows similar actions in Chicago and New York earlier this year in what labour experts call the largest such disputes to ever hit the industry.
The demonstrations are aimed at highlighting a demand for a $15-an-hour wage and the right to form a union without fear of employer intimidation.
Kenta Jackson, a 21-year-old shift manager at Church’s Chicken in St Louis, said she had been moved to join the protest due to the difficulties of making ends meet on her wage of $8.50 an hour. “I work 40 hours a week and still cannot get by. If I have three different bills I have got to make a decision which of them I can pay,” she told The Guardian.
The fast food strikes are the latest in a series of disputes which have struck some of the lowest paid sectors of the American economy. Last year retail giant Walmart was hit by a series of walkouts by some of its workers, who were also demanding higher pay. The firm’s supply chain, which often uses third-party warehouses, was also hit by industrial disputes.
Labour groups in the US have increasingly adopted the cause of workers as statistics show that the tepid US economic recovery has been fuelled by an increase in low-wage work. A survey by the National Employment Law Project last year revealed that though lower wage jobs had made up 21% of job losses in the Great Recession, they had also made up 58% of the jobs created by the recovery.
In the St Louis area, local organisers estimate that some 36,000 workers toil in the fast food industry at wage levels which often still see them get government assistance to get by. “Increasingly, fast food jobs are the only options for St Louisans, but these workers can’t even afford to pay for rent, food and carfare. If the workers earned more, fast food workers would spend that money at local businesses here in St Louis and help lift our economy,” said the Rev Martin Rafanan, a local director of the campaign.
[Fast food worker at New York City wage protest via Flickr user peoplesworld]
Kim Jong-un threatens to restart nuke tests as Trump’s efforts to talk to the regime fall apart again: report
On Tuesday, CNN's Brian Todd reported that the North Korean regime is on the brink of rescinding what little they promised President Donald Trump, as the future of his efforts to continue talks appear uncertain.
"Kim Jong-un's regime is once again in negotiation by intimidation," said Todd. "Just two weeks after their historic meeting at the DMZ, and President Trump's short stroll into North Korea, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be threatening to start testing his nuclear weapons again. In a new statement, Kim's foreign ministry calls the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises planned for next month a breach of the main spirit of what President Trump and Kim agreed to in Singapore, and says, 'We are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S."
Republican freaks out after Democrat quotes Trump’s racist statement on the floor of Congress
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Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) rose to support the resolution, listing multiple instances of racism from the commander-in-chief.
As part of the list, Swalwell noted Trump's attacks on "sh*thole countries."
After he swore on the floor by quoting the president, Republicans freaked out.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) complained and got in a back-and-forth with Swalwell.
Collins sought to have Swalwell's words stricken from the Congressional Record, which would have banned him from speaking for the rest of the day.
Appeals court delivers ‘tremendous blow to federal workers’ with decision to uphold Trump’s anti-union executive orders
"There must be a check on the president's power to destroy federal employees' union rights."
Unions representing hundreds of thousands of federal employees on Tuesday vowed to fight a federal appeals court ruling in which a three-judge panel unanimously upheld President Donald Trump's executive orders attacking workers' rights.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit said that it lacked jurisdiction to block Trump's orders, which made it easier to fire federal employees, limited the amount of time workers can spend on union business, and compelled federal agencies to devise unfavorable contracts with unions.