NEWSFLASH: Fast-Food Workers to Strike Worldwide!

Ms. magazine cover, Fall 2013

At a press conference outside a Manhattan McDonald’s this morning, the group Fast Food Forward announced that workers around the globe will undertake a one-day strike on May 15 to push for higher pay and workers’ rights.

The 15th is a perfectly symbolic day to strike, as the strikers’ pay goal is $15 an hour.

As Fast Food Forward puts it on its website,

Many of us make minimum wage—just $7.25 an hour, or as little as $11,000 a year. Meanwhile, the Goliath corporations we work for, like McDonalds, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, are part of a $200 billion industry. These corporations reap huge profits and shower CEOs with exorbitant compensation while most of their employees qualify for food stamps.

The median wage for fast-food workers isn’t a whole lot higher: According to CNN Money,

Currently, the median pay for the fast food workers across the country is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That’s roughly $4,500 lower than Census Bureau’s poverty income threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

Backed by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations, the May 15th protests will take place in 33 countries (on six continents) and in as many as 150 U.S. cities. Pickets outside of Micky D’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and other fast-food establishments will call on employers not just to raise the minimum wage but allow them to form unions without retaliation.

As the Ms. Blog has pointed out before, fast-food restaurant workers are predominantly women [PDF] between 25 and 64 years old, and many of them have families to support. Ms. magazine honored those women with our Fall 2013 cover story and the hashtag #StandWithRosie.

Stay tuned for more information on the May 15 protests!