Fast Food Workers Strike Calls Attention To Minimum Wage

Dec 5, 2013

Workers at fast food restaurants in Columbus and several other U.S. cities are holding strikes and protests today, seeking higher wages. 

Workers want to raise the national median wage from eight dollars 94 cents an hour to 15 dollars an hour.  Brian Bull of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

“....Hey McDonalds, you can’t hide!  We can see your greeting sign!.........”

The protesters held signs stating, “Jobs with justice” and “fair wages now”, sometimes getting a supportive honk from passing motorists.  McDonalds employees watched from the drive-through window, some snapping photos of the demonstration.

“Fifteen dollars and a union! (Fifteen dollars and a union!) Fifteen dollars and a union!”

Speaker Pamela Rosado is Organizer for Fight For a Fair Economy, and Outreach Coordinator for Policy Matters Ohio.  She says fast-food workers can’t settle for less than 15 dollars an hour.

Rosado: You would still have people that would qualify or be eligible for food stamps, or other public assistance, depending on the size of their family.  15 dollars is a livable wage.  And that’s what fighting for.  But If get Congress to move on raising the minimum wage, and continue to raise the minimum wage, we won’t say “NO” 

But Sean Chichelli, Director of Labor and Human Resources Policy for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, says raising the minimum wage that high would negatively affect fast-food companies.

Chichelli:  They’ll have to either charge more for their product or have fewer employees.  It’s about the only two options that they have.

Chichelli adds fast-food jobs are low-skill, and there have been increases in the minimum wage in Ohio.  The next one, set to go into effect next year, will bring it to $7.95 an hour.