Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Fast-food workers striking in New York City in July of 2013. (Photo: Annette Bernhardt)

Fast Food Worker Strikes and Direct Actions to Sweep Country

"We are prepared to take arrests to show our commitment to the growing fight for $15."

Sarah Lazare

Fast food workers are planning to launch strikes in 150 cities across the U.S. on Thursday, to demand a $15 minimum wage, the right to organize in the workplace, and an end to the wage theft that plagues the industry.

Sit-ins are also planned for more than a dozen locations, according to numerous media reports. Workers from McDonald’s to Burger King to Wendy’s to KFC are expected to be joined by thousands of home healthcare workers, as well as other supporters, with organizers saying they ultimately hope to build a movement of low-wage workers.

“On Thursday, we are prepared to take arrests to show our commitment to the growing fight for $15,” said Terrence Wise, a Burger King employee in Kansas City, Missouri, and a member of the fast-food workers’ national organizing committee, according to the New York Times.

The day of protest is being organized by coalitions, including Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15, as well as the Service Employees International Union, which has more than 2 million members.

Thursday's escalation will come on the heels of a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that McDonald's can be held liable for labor violations at its franchises. The fast food giant had repeatedly tried to side-step criticisms from workers by claiming it has no say over working conditions and wages at franchised restaurants.

Since launching nearly two years ago, the fast food workers' strikes have forced the demands of low-wage workers to center stage amid the ongoing expansion of poor-paying jobs, which are outpacing higher-wage ones.

On Monday during a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, President Barack Obama vocalized his support for the "millions of people" who are organizing for a higher minimum wage. But critics charge that the president, who has seen economic inequality rise to record levels during his tenure, should be pushing for far higher than a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

The move comes after Democratic leadership in the House blocked an amendment to roll back limits on how much money people in the United States can send to family on the island nation.

Jessica Corbett ·

Progressives Issue Dire Warning as House Bill to Extend Eviction Moratorium Dies

"If Congress does not act now, the fallout of the eviction crisis will undoubtedly set us backwards as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravish our communities, needlessly contributing to more death and destruction."

Brett Wilkins ·

Citing Donziger Case, Dems Raise Alarm About Use of Private Prosecutors in Federal Court

Private prosecutions of criminal contempt charges, said a pair of senators, "are highly unusual and can raise concerning questions of fundamental fairness in our criminal justice system."

Jessica Corbett ·

'About Damn Time': DOJ Says Treasury Department Must Give Trump's Tax Returns to Congress

"This case is now bigger even than Donald Trump's crimes. Neither the courts, nor the machinery of our government, exist to bodyguard a corrupt private citizen from transparency."

Jake Johnson ·

'Just Say That the Election Was Corrupt,' Trump Told DOJ in December

"It was a failed coup. Call it what it was. It didn't work! But they sure as hell tried."

Kenny Stancil ·