NYC Fast-Food Workers Strike

After a Black Friday action at Wal-Mart, NYC fast-food workers walk out, challenging a nearly union-free industry


They’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore. Fast-food workers from restaurants across New York City walked off the job Thursday, marking the beginning of an extremely rare strike against the nearly union-free industry. Employees from McDonald’s, Burger King, Domino’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Papa John’s all participated, with workers from the Golden Arches making up the most of the activists. This is considered the first salvo in an effort to unionize workers in the industry, typified by low wages, limited hours, and high turnover. Civil rights groups, religious leaders, and a labor union organized the walk out.


At 6:30 this morning, New York City fast food workers walked off the job, launching a rare strike against a nearly union-free industry. Organizers expect workers at dozens of stores to join the one-day strike, a bold challenge to an industry whose low wages, limited hours and precarious employment typify a growing portion of the U.S. economy.

New York City workers are organizing at McDonald’s, Burger King, Domino’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Papa John’s. Organizers expect today’s strike to include workers from almost all of those chains, with the largest group coming from McDonald’s; the company did not respond to a request for comment.

But employees were clear about their reasons for walking out. “They’re not paying us enough to survive,” McDonald’s worker Raymond Lopez told Salon in a pre-strike interview. Lopez said he decided to join today’s strike because “This company has enough money to pay us a reasonable amount for all that we do … they’re just not going to give it to us as long as they can get away with it. I think we need to be heard.”

Thursday's strike also comes one week after non-union Wal-Mart workers staged their unprecedented strike wave against the retail giant.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.


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