McDonald’s ‘Wage Theft’ Lawsuits Kick New Round of Fast-Food Protests Into Gear

McMoneybags Photo: Rick Gomez/Corbis (Chauffeur)

Omnipresent fast-food protests helped get a $10.10 minimum-wage proposal into the president's State of the Union, and now union organizers are turning to the wage theft alleged in last week's class-action lawsuit against McDonald's to expand awareness. The first rallies happened nationwide yesterday, in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, and Detroit the idea being, as often as possible, to stage them in front of the restaurants named in the lawsuit. CBS New York reports about 50 protesters chanted inside a McDonald's near the Empire State Building, eventually drawing public advocate Letitia James, who stood next to a crazed Ronald McDonald figure and told the crowd she plans to introduce legislation that would establish a wage-theft hotline.

The normally even-more-reticent McDonald's simply issued a statement that its restaurants remained open "today and every day thanks to the teams of dedicated employees serving our customers."

Meanwhile, workers have already scored one big victory: Across town, at the same time as the protests, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced one New York franchisee, Richard Cisneros, who owns seven Manhattan locations, had agreed to settle for $500,000.

Fast-Food Protests Shift Focus to "Wage Theft" [AP]
Fast Food Advocates Rally Against "Wage Theft" As New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Announces McDonald's Settlement [CBS New York]