Workers at dozens of fast-food restaurants in New York City walked off the job Thursday morning. Organizers say New Yorkers will see hundreds of workers on strike at some of the largest fast food chains including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s, Taco Bell and other fast-food restaurants across the city.
The workers’ campaign is Fast Food Forward. They’re coming together to fight for $15 / hour and the right to form a union. The campaign’s goal is to put money back in the pockets of the 50,000 men and women who work hard in the city’s fast food industry – but still can’t afford basic necessities like food, clothing, and rent.
The workers coming together is a major act of courage because among them are some who have already faced retaliation for organizing today’s strike.
Jose Cerillo, a 79-year-old man who’s been cleaning floors at McDonald’s since 1996 was fired recently for organizing workers to support Fast Food Forward. After 16 years of working there he was making $7.40 an hour, 15 cents above minimum wage, Salon.com reports.
You can support the workers by signing the campaign’s petition at Fastfoodforward.org.
Also, If you’re in New York you can support the workers by visiting one of the picket sites listed at the end of this story.
The organizing drive is backed by community organizing groups like New York Communities for Change as well as the SEIU. New York Communities for Change organizing director Jonathan Westin told Salon the current effort is “the biggest organizing campaign that’s happened in the fast food industry.”
The main strike sites and picket times are listed below:
McDonalds- 280 Madison avenue @40th street-6am (media location 6:30am)
Yum and Burger King-Penn Station-Midtown- 11am-1pm (Media location noon) Gather at BK on 34th between 7th and 8th.
Wendy’s- 425 Fulton St. Wendy’s-Brooklyn-11am -1pm (Media location noon)
McDonalds- 220 West 42nd Street- Times Square- 4pm-6pm (Rally/ media location 5pm)
additional picket locations & times
1) Harlem-McDonalds- 145 east 125 street 11am-1pm
2) Harlem- McDonalds- 2142 3rd Ave 10-noon
3) Brooklyn-KFC- 495 Nostrand Ave noon-1pm
4) Brooklyn KFC-798 4th Ave # 812 11a-noon
5) Times Square- McDonalds 1188 Avenue Of The Americas 7am-9:30am
Ok great cause, totally for it but one thing…
I hardly make $15 an hour. I know fast food work can be tough but I with drunks, meth addicts, and the grim reaper almost daily. How much am I worth then??
^^^ agreed. i definitely think fast food workers (and plenty of other workers for that matter) should be paid more money, but you have to put it in perspective as far as the necessity of the service. fast food works should be paid AT LEAST $10/hr but EMTs/medics should be paid like, $25/hr.
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Are y’all really doing this right now? Like is this actually happening?
did you expect anything else?
I swear to jesus, if you knew how much shit people in fast food and other service industry positions, AND still have absolutely ZERO job security and are often put into positions with little or no actual upward mobility you would be ripping your own face off for even having that thought.
Who do you think, aside from food service and other wage-labor jobs is making it possible for you to have off on the holidays?
Who do you think makes it possible for you to be in a nice hotel?
Who the fuck do you think the majority of people are who are in the back of kitchens, yes even your special precious vegan tofu-ganic bakeshop and co-op?
They are people on shitty shitty wage salaries.
Some of them are lucky to live in situations with multiple incomes, so they may not be as screwed as people for whom that shitty job represents the ONLY paycheck coming into the household.
You wanna try and hijack one of the most highly visible and DANGEROUS strikes (for the participants) in the US in recent years so you can make some implicit argument against fast food? GTFO.
And while I’m at it, I want to point at that the manner in which most of these companies have kept people in line amounts to “Fine, complain, organize, we can hire ten more people for every person who walks off the line” and generally, that’s true. They can.
That’s why it’s so important to support these striking workers, and (perhaps especially) those who cannot walk out but are in solidarity with their striking co-workers. Because this is an all or nothing. Either they get what they’re fighting for, or most of them are out of a job.