Strike

A protester holds up a sign at a demonstration outside McDonald's in Times Square in New York

Really happy to see these workers standing up for themselves and everyone else:

Fast food strikers will escalate their campaign within the next week and a half, according to the key union backing their recent walkouts.

In a Monday interview in her Washington, D.C., office, Service Employees International Union president Mary Kay Henry told Salon that SEIU members “see the fast food workers as standing up for all of us. Because the conditions are exactly the same.” Henry was joined by SEIU assistant to the president for organizing Scott Courtney, who said to expect “a big escalation” from fast food workers in “the next week or 10 days.” Two weeks after one-day strikes by thousands of employees in the growing, non-union, low-wage industry, Courtney said, “I think they’re thinking much bigger, and while the iron’s hot they ought to strike. No pun intended.”

As Salon has reported, SEIU has been the key player behind the past year’s wave of fast food strikes, which began with a surprise walkout in New York City last November, spread this year to cities in the Midwest and West Coast, and escalated last month with strikes in seven cities over four days — by far the largest mobilization of fast food workers in the history of the United States.

In each city, workers are demanding a raise to $15 an hour and the chance to unionize without intimidation. With fast food jobs becoming increasingly prevalent in — and representative of — the U.S. economy, and embattled unions exploring and experimenting with tactics like those the fast food workers have taken up, their showdown has far-reaching consequences. SEIU, one of the largest U.S. unions, has devoted millions of dollars and dozens of staff to the campaign, which is also supported by a range of local and national progressive groups. In contrast to some past union efforts, said Henry, “It’s more about, ‘How do we shift things in the entire low-wage economy?’”

5 Responses to Strike

  1. imhotep August 14, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Costco pays its workers on average $20.00 an hour. It’s direct competitor Sam’s Club (Walmart) pays less than half of that. Yet for the past 10 years Costco has outperformed Walmart in profitabilty. And by every other measure. Costco also saves us taxpayers money because very few if any of their employees need to be subsidized by the government. Unlike Walmart, the employees of Costco don’t need food stamps, free clinics, housing assistance, ect. Costco employees are paid a living wage.

  2. bob August 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    They will not win this fight. Labor costs are already too high. Industry lobbyists are getting more legislators on the immigration bandwagon. Immigration, legal and illegal help drive down wages and overall labor costs and are a thorn in unions butts.. For every one that walks out the door crying I don’t pay them enough, I will hire two more for the about same cost.

  3. susie August 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Labor cost are too high for what? Walking that thin line between paying them barely enough to live but not actual death? Every single time government asks employers to do their part, the sky is falling and the world is coming to an end.

  4. bob August 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    Its called a free market system, the basis of capitalism. Why would I pay more than the job is worth when the market is filled with people that would do the same job for less? I don’t run a business for socialist reasons, to provide for you. I run it to make a profit.

  5. susie August 14, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    And how much profit is enough?

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