New York City’s Fast-Food Workers Commence Massive, Unprecedented Strike

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The scope of this strike is unprecedented. Photo: iStockphoto

A newly formed group called Fast Food Forward has rallied 40 full-time organizers and will, beginning this morning, coordinate an unprecedented strike of the city's fast-food workers. The goal is to get several restaurant chains including, Domino's, McDonald's, Wendy's, and Taco Bell to increase the wages paid to workers. The New York Times reports that the campaign is being backed by "community and civil rights groups, religious leaders and a labor union." The strike began this morning at the McDonald's at 280 Madison Avenue, and workers demanding higher pay will move throughout the city today to stations outside other fast-food restaurants.

At noon, workers will walk-out begin striking outside Burger King and Yum Brands restaurants within Penn Station. A simultaneous protest is expected o begin at Wendy's in Downtown Brooklyn at 425 Fulton Street. At 5 p.m., workers will begin striking at McDonald's, in the heart of Times Square, at 220 West 42nd Street.

Workers are demanding, on average, a $7 increase in hourly pay, from $8 to $15. It is said to be the biggest and broadest initiative of its kind to unionize fast-food employees. The strike's organizer, Fast Food Forward, says they are also seeking greater access to amenities and to unionize low-wage workers.

Fast-food and so-called fast-casual restaurant chains have a long-standing history of keeping unions out of the workplace. Its a fairly high-turnover position," the Times quotes Tim McIntyre, a Dominos Pizza spokesman. "So theres never been a successful union effort."

Drive to Unionize Fast-Food Workers Begins [NYT]