Fast food workers in 80 cities, both in the U.S. and around the globe, are demonstrating together on Thursday with demands for increased wages and better treatment from restaurants—dominated by international chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and others—that make billions in profit annually on the back of their low-paid labor force.
From New Zealand and Austrailia to Asia, from Europe to Africa, and in both hemispheres of the Americas, the international day of protests and strikes is being chronicled on Twitter under the hashtag #fastfoddglobal:
Tweets about “#FastFoodGlobal”
As the New York Times reports:
USA Today reports from New York City:
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Writing for CNN International, Ron Oswald, the general secretary of Geneva-based International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) and a lead organizer for the international day of protest, explains why fast food workers in all countries need to be paid more. He writes:
From industry’s perspective, however, there’s no need for change.
Scott DeFife, an executive vice president for the National Restaurant Association—which some call the “other NRA” that represents many of the largest corporations in the fast food industry—dismissed Thursday’s protests when he told the Times: “These are made-for-TV media moments — that’s pretty much it.”
But for workers struggling to feed their families and meet basic needs, the sentiment was strikingly and consistently different.
Delores Leonard of Bronzeville, Illinois told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday that she joined the day’s demonstration in Chicago because her hourly wage of $8.25 at McDonald’s doesn’t cover even half of her rent and utility bills.
“[The] people that prepare the food are the heart and soul of the services,” said the mother of two daughters who is forced to rely on government assistance, food stamps and Medicaid, to make ends meet. “It’s absurd for $8.25. It’s just not enough, and if [other people, including the owners] were in our shoes, they would understand.”
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