Fast food workers to strike in 100 cities

by Laura Clawson

fastfoodstrikeLess than a week after more than 110 Walmart workers and supporters were arrested at Black Friday protests and strikes, fast food workers are escalating their fight for fair wages, fair treatment, and the right to organize. One-day strikes are planned for Thursday at fast food restaurants in 100 cities, Steven Greenhouse reports, including cities like Providence, Rhode Island, and Charleston, South Carolina, that have not been among the dozens in which fast food workers have staged walkouts to date.

“There’s been pretty huge growth in one year,” said Kendall Fells, one of the movement’s main organizers. “People understand that a one-day strike is not going to get them there. They understand that this needs to continue to grow.”

The National Restaurant Association is, as usual, responding to the strikes by trying to convince potential customers that low-wage fast food workers are just kids trying to earn some extra cash, not adults and parents as they actually are. Basically, the fast food industry’s position is that restaurants shouldn’t have to pay enough for workers to live on—workers should instead apply for government assistance to make ends meet. And that’s why workers need to fight. Because the same corporations that pay these poverty wages also lobby for lower corporate taxes (meaning less government revenue available for things like food stamps), trying to increase inequality and make poverty worse from both directions. Fast food workers need to fight, in other words, because beyond their individual terrible circumstances—the choices between rent and food or utility bills—this is about justice at the most basic level, and if we’ll tolerate a society in which inequality keeps increasing.

Laura Clawson reports on labor for Daily Kos, where this post first appeared

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One Response

  1. 12/03/13 – Democratic Socialist of America – Fast Food Workers Strike 100 cities… I understand the need to get publicity for your cause; I worked on the Plastic Workers Organizing Committee in Erie ’89 to ’91. It was just a city wide campaign but it was part of the national campaign of the United Electrical Workers (UE). I did a lot of things to get attention but I never got people fired just to raise awareness. I would never ask a worker to pull a job action unless I had a committee in place to defend him/her. This campaign seems to be out of touch with its people. Do they even have a local organizing committee in 100 cities? I doubt it. They’re putting the cart before the horse with this “one-day strike” strategy. Is it the workers ides or the staffs? First, you build a committee, and then you democratically decide what to do and how to do it, collectively. That’s how you organize an industry, not by calling for a general strike.

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