You don’t need us to tell you: life is an endless struggle. However, that struggle is most pronounced for those at the bottom of the totem pole. Fast food service workers are one such group of individuals trampled on in the name of progress and profits. But not for much longer! McDonald’s workers across America are currently protesting for a minimum wage increase.
Many live paycheck to paycheck and that is becoming next to impossible with the increase of the cost of living. The aim of the protests are to secure a minimum wage increase of $15/hour. Although the protests will primarily target McDonald’s restaurants in 340 cities, other service workers will also join them.
Home health workers, child care providers, and some Uber drivers are also set to join the action. Most encouragingly, the cause also has the backing of the Service Employees International Union. Looks like we’re having a big party in the name of parity.
Protests for Minimum Wage Increase
The protests for minimum wage increase are already underway at McDonald’s restaurants in 340 cities nationwide. In addition, organizers for the ‘Fight for $15’ campaign stated that baggage handlers and cabin cleaners at Chicago’s O’Hare and Boston’s Logan international airports are also expected to join the demonstrations. Now the movement is sure to gain momentum and take off.
In the end, workers from numerous fast food chains and approximately 20 airports will join the nationwide protest. On top of the increased wages, protesters are also fighting for union rights and immigration reform. It is the first major action by the group since billionaire businessman, Donald Trump, won the U.S. presidential election.
Wage Against the Machine
Last year, while campaigning for the election, Donald Trump stated that U.S. worker wages were too high and thus made America uncompetitive on the global market. However, he reversed his position this year and claimed that minimum wage should rise, with states taking the initiative.
However, not everything is peaches and rainbows. The hopes of an increase to the $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage went up in smokes in November after the election. With the emergence of a Republican-controlled Congress, that wish is but a distant dream. Nevertheless, advocates aren’t giving up, and say that they will work with state and local officials to increase wages.
Slow and Steady Wins the Raise
However, there was some good news from this election cycle. Voters in four states; Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington voted to increase the minimum wage. In addition, labor organizations are considering initiating campaigns in states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico to continue this trend.
For its part, McDonald’s issued a statement claiming that it invests in its workers by providing grants to earn degrees and teaching on the job skills. Moreover, it is often up to the franchisees of restaurants to set wages for employees. Yet, they should keep in mind that if you pay peanuts, you may get monkeys.