Fast food workers walk off job, noting record profits by fast food companies

Today, in cities across American, fast food workers are again taking to the streets to protest the paltry wages they earn, mostly minimum wage or slightly better. The work is hard, the hours too often irregular, and the pay terribly inadequate.

Workers in at least seven cities are taking part – Chicago, New York, Kansas City, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Flint. They want to raise public awareness about how bad things are and put pressure on their employers start paying a living wage. Employees at Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, KFC and others are taking part.

Image: Salon

Image: Salon










The protests have been ongoing for some time now as workers become more and more empowered to act. Fast Food Forward, the group behind the protests, issued this statement:

“In America, people who work hard should be able to afford basic necessities like groceries, rent, childcare, and transportation.” They noted that despite record profits made by fast food companies, their employees struggle to get by. Many are forced onto some form of public assistance despite working.

The organization also points out that while fast food workers in New York City earn an average annual wage of $11,000, fast food chief executives earn an average $25,000 a day. Raising the wages of these workers would strengthen the overall economy.

No one who works full time should live in poverty, as these workers certainly do. No employer is entitled to the labor of anyone without paying a decent wage in return.

It’s now up to the public to bring pressure to bear on these morally challenged, self-serving employers.

  • Carla Akins

    When fast food jobs were held almost exclusively by high school and college kids, always part time – disposable jobs that allowed them to work around their class schedule, minimum wage seemed appropriate. None of these young people were planning on staying more than a year or two.

    Well all that changed a decade or two ago, and those jobs are often now held by adults with no parental subsidized income and parents with children. Turnover is expensive and low morale among employees is costly to the restaurant in dollars and goodwill. Chipotle, Shake Shack and others have a better business model and it works. These companies need to get on the ball.

  • rjcarter

    So THAT’S why I had to wait in such a crowd for my Chick-fil-a today at lunch!

  • juicyfruityyy

    All of the low paying Employees; need to walk and protest. We have some employees only grossing $5000/year before taxes. Why are they paying taxes? The Corporations don’t have to. Even though, they are people!

    • Carla Akins

      those people wouldn’t be paying any income tax, the tax structure isn’t set up that way. however they still have to be able to live.

      • juicyfruityyy

        Unfortunately, I remember, being one of those people. That gross came from working 3 jobs. I got taxed! Granted, it was in 1987. But I still didn’t feel that I should of had to pay.

  • Hank

    Try to force an employer to pay you what you want to make instead of exercising the right, freedom and opportunity to find a better paying job. It’s the American Way!!

    I wish I ran a McDonald’s or ANY establishment affected by this action so I could just simply fire every one of them. This is pathetic behavior. There are “Employers” and “Employees” in this world and that is a reality you may deny, but it is a reality nonetheless. Very few people have the tenacity, the perseverance, the ambition and the initiative to be an “Employer”. It’s not easy. It’s ONE HELL of a lot more scarey…..more difficult than just showing up, punching a clock, doing what you’re told and collecting your check.

    You don’t like your job?? You aren’t being paid enough?? QUIT!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! Don’t poison the rest of the workforce and DON’T try to make me run MY business the way YOU, a person that doesn’t have the will, ambition or tenacity to do what I do, to suffer through what I suffer through, the way YOU, from your vantage point of NO investment and NO risk, think I should.

    • Pete

      You must be a sociopath with no empathy. Suffer the way you suffer? Oh, boo hoo, you won’t be able to make a down that second and completely unnecessary brand new car you want or get to vacation on a cruise liner, hooooow tragic! Yeah, I’m sure you’ve worked your butt off for those things, but compared to these people’s suffering(not being able to afford rent, leaving their child on their own to fend for themselves because they can’t afford a sitter, sometimes downright STARVATION) I think you can afford to make a few thousand less a day to be dispersed among your workers for the good of the whole instead of your selfish “necessities”. Do you deserve to make more because you worked to gain your position? Yes. But I highly doubt you deserve to make several hundred percent more. How are these people supposed to better themselves when they can barely get by? They can’t just “exercise their right to find a better paying job” because they can’t even afford to live, let alone find the time and money to gain a degree that these better paying jobs require. Your next argument might be,”well, why didn’t they get their degree when they were fresh out of high school?” Well, I know it’s hard for someone of your sociopathic mindset to grasp this, but these people probably didn’t have your affluent life or parents that instilled positive goals into them. Not everyone comes from ideal circumstances. Maybe “the American way” isn’t the best way to go about things and we need to come up with a better model that makes more sense. Try to step to me and argue; I was thankfully endowed with an IQ is off the charts that allowed me to start from the wrong side of the tracks and work my way up, so, unlike you, I have a broad perspective and a little something called empathy. I’ll rip any argument you can even conceive of to shreds.

      • Hank

        Okay Pete. Normally, I would try not to be snarky, but after this Socialistic Drivel you’ve sent me, I can’t resist a shot or two. (Not to mention the disdainful insults.)

        First, I find people that feel compelled to brag about their I.Q., like OTHER things some like to brag about, tend to be “challenged” in those areas and are insecure and for the most part, exaggerate. So, let me recommend you just buy a bigger dog or bigger truck or something and that should compensate for those inadequacies.

        Second, why don’t you use that “off the charts” I.Q. of yours to do a better job spell/grammar/punctuation checking your comments. I mean, after all, with such a high I.Q…………….

        Now……you can’t possibly “rip any argument you (I) can even conceive of to shreds.” because fundamentally, I just don’t buy into or agree with your smiley faced, socialist drivel that everybody should have everything equally. So, I think your thoughts are so fundamentally flawed, that it’s hardly worth bothering to discuss the matter with you. I just think you are ill informed and wrong. But you’re right about one thing Pete. I DID work my butt off and sacrificed in so many ways for what little I’ve accomplished and/or accumulated in life and neither you nor any other Socialist/Statist/Liberal has the right to tell me or even question me just how much of the fruits of my own effort are “enough” for me to enjoy!! Just how much I should be entitled to keep. It’s dangerous once you start down that little slippery slope there Pete. Case in point…….

        I’m reading a book set in the WWII Era. First, the Nazis (and don’t even begin to try that Godwin Garbage on me. I’m not comparing ANYONE to Nazis.) decided they were the ones that had the right or authority to tell or decide just what the Jewish People (among others) were entitled to have or keep. Families that had worked for generations to build their “wealth” were wiped out if not killed because “someone else” set themselves up as the arbiter of what they should have. And the conquering Soviets weren’t much better. They were brutal to the Germans, setting THEMselves up as the arbiter of what the conquered German Civilians should have and what was more appropriate to be “impounded” for use by the conquerors. Consequently, many people guilty of nothing more than being Germans in a conquered country perished by starvation and deprivation. So Pete, it gets kinda dangerous for ME when I allow YOU to decide what is adequate for me to “keep”. Or decide what I’m “entitled” to.

        Pete, just who are YOU to tell ME that you “…highly doubt you (I) deserve to make several hundred percent more.” What imbues YOU (or anyone else) with such a right? With such power?? Simply put Pete…..NOTHING does. You just don’t have that right nor does anyone else.

        So, shred away there Pete. In spite of your “off the charts” I.Q., I find you a willful idiot and a fool. You’ve said your peace. I’ve said mine. I’m not sure either of us has anything to offer the other.

    • John James

      Why don’t they just fire them all then?

      If it’s so simple. Why don’t they do it? Employees have the same right of holding their employers by the financial balls to negotiate a raise as employers have to ruin someones life by cutting them off financially.

      No one is forcing the employer to hire these people or to give them a raise. What ever they decide to do like go out of business instead of giving people a raise is their decision. No one can force their hand. They employees just see their hard work get them absolutely nothing so they are playing their hand that they are worth more than minimum wage. This is the way the free market works. If people don’t think they are getting paid enough for what they do they just don’t work.

      No one is forcing the employers to run a business. If they think it’s too hard they can just stop running a business and become regular hourly employees somewhere else. If they still have outstanding loans from starting a business and this strike is going to ruin them financially, tough shit. This is apart of the risk that they decided to take on. Just because you start a business doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to anything. In fact you should expect that you will go bankrupt despite making all the right decisions because that is the nature of the beast.

      And opposed to what you might think running a business isn’t all that hard. You just have to have been born with enough resources to afford to start a business or worked your butt off your whole life and then start a business in your 30’s or 40’s.