McDonald’s President Supports Minimum Wage Hike

McDonald’s may now be in support of raising pay for its low-wage workers. Click here.

Recent reports say McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson recently suggested his company would support a bill, proposed by President Barack Obama, raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from $7.25. Such a wage hike likely wouldn’t satisfy his workers, some of whom were recently arrested during protests at the company’s Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters demanding $15 an hour. But it would be a  shift in attitude for the world’s biggest restaurant chain, which has so far been neutral as the debate about higher wages has roiled around it.

“You know, our franchisees look at me when I say this and they start to worry: ‘Don, don’t you say it. Don’t you say we support $10.10,'” Thompson said during a little-noticed talk at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management last month, according to a Chicago Tribune report. “I will tell you we will support legislation that moves forward.”



Scared, then Emboldened by Protest Arrest

Full story here

By Vickie Elmer, May 22 at 12:09 pm

Natasha Carson was a bit frightened on Wednesday afternoon when she found herself at the front of the crowd, carrying part of a banner in the protest against her employer, McDonald’s. She had been part of earlier fast food protests, but this one, at the company’s corporate headquarters outside Chicago, was bigger, with ample media attention and plenty of police.

Police officers, some in riot gear, watched as protesters, including union leaders and clergy, started chanting and singing. “I was pushing away my fear,” Carson said in an interview. “You stand up for your rights and you make history.”

That sentiment comes from a 20-year-old who lives with her mom in Milwaukee, and is known as Tazz. She has worked for McDonald’s for almost five years, starting in high school and now while attending Milwaukee Area Technical College.Organizers say she was the first worker arrested Wednesday, and then 100 others from 33 cities were taken into custody. Continue reading

Minimum Wage Gets Minimal Attention at McDonald’s Meeting

May 22, 2014 6:02 pm

Even as 400 protesters rallied outside McDonald’s headquarters for a higher minimum wage for fast food workers, the chain’s pay policies generated little noise inside its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.

A day earlier, more than 100 people were arrested for trespassing after up to 1,500 protesters descended on McDonald’s suburban Chicago headquarters, calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage and a union for fast food workers.The rallies follow recent minimum wage protests across the country amid a growing national debate over income inequality, which President Barack Obama has called “the defining issue of our time.” Continue reading

100 Arrests at McDonald’s HQ

MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT Bev Horne/AP Hundreds of protesters flooded the streets near the McDonald’s corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill on Wednesday. More than 100 people were arrested.

Protesters Seeking Higher Pay for McDonald’s: Workers Swarm McDonald’s Corporate Office near Chicago. More than 100 arrested.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 7:26 PM

Police on Wednesday arrested more than 100 demonstrators seeking better pay for McDonald’s workers as protesters swarmed the fast-food chain’s corporate campus near Chicago to demand a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionize. Continue reading

Why do fast-food workers strike?

No occupation is lower paid across the board, argues this article. Fast-food workers are pressing a demand for pay of at least $15 an hour, far more than the $9 or so that is typical for the industry. Here’s how their wages compare with other jobs in the economy.

By , Christian Science Monitor Staff writer / May 15, 2014

Fast food workers and supporters protest low wages outside a Krispy Kreme store, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta.David Goldman/AP

As fast-food workers and labor organizers used a nationwide day of protest to demand pay of at least $15 per hour in the industry, their motivations were summed up in different ways.

Some workers talked of wanting to earn enough to cover more than their rent.

Strike organizers argued that the industry’s typical pay of about $9 an hour is not a “living wage.” (Working 35 hours per week at that rate nets $16,380 per year. Although that’s above the official poverty line for one or two people, it doesn’t go far.)

Selmira Wilson, a protester in Miami who works at McDonalds, said that to support her three children she cleans offices at night “just to get by,” according to a Reuters report.

On top of those, here’s one more factor to tuck into the mix: No occupation out of the more than 1,300 tracked by the US Labor Department is lower paid. Continue reading

More states, cities raising minimum wage

The fast-food walkouts Thursday are part of a broader nationwide effort to raise the minimum wage for millions of low-income workers, a campaign that’s notching growing success in states and cities across the USA.

Supporters say that raising wages would address growing inequality between the rich and poor as the nation continues to recover too slowly from the Great Recession. Opponents say pay hikes would mean lost jobs and could slow a fragile recovery. A bill, backed by President Obama, to raise the federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $10.10 by late 2016, has stalled in Congress due to Republican opposition.

But seven states have passed legislation this year to raise the minimum wage. Four have approved increases to at least $10.10 an hour — Connecticut, Maryland, Hawaii and Vermont. Three others — Minnesota, West Virginia and Delaware — have passed smaller increases. Proposals to increase the minimum wage have been introduced in at least 30 other states, according to the Associated Press. Continue reading

Tracking the Fast Food Protest

Alan Pyke and Adam Peck  May 15, 2014
Think Progress
Today is the biggest strike in fast food history and it’s phenomenal. Actions in support of $15/hour wages and the right to form a union without retaliation have spread across the globe. Workers went on strike in 158 American cities, according to, including in 56 U.S. cities where there had not been a strike previously, International worker solidarity actions are taking place in 93 international cities spread across 36 countries.

As fast food workers strike in 150 U.S. cities Thursday and solidarity protests spring up in 30 other countries, it’s worth a look back at how their cause grew from a handful of people to a globe-spanning movement. Continue reading

Fast Food Workers Act Locally, Globally

Fast food workers undertook job actions of various sort against their restaurants in many cities around the world. Click here.  A video feature on faces of striking workers is here. Video from USA of workers in NY is here.

Forbes magazine offered this,

Fast-food workers strike across U.S.

  @CNNMoney May 15, 2014: 11:24 AM ET

fast food worker strike 051514Fast food workers gathered in New York last week to announce the global strikes that are taking place today.

Fast-food workers walked off their jobs in dozens of cities on Thursday, demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Union organizers say the strikes will reach 150 U.S. cities and several countries.

Danny Rosa said he started striking at 5 a.m. at the Burger King in Dorchester, Mass., where he works. He and a group of co-workers shouted the slogan, “Fight for $15 and union.”

“I am proud that I am striking and I am trying to get a better life,” Rosa said. “I am fighting for everyone in fast food.”

Rosa planned to travel to downtown Boston later in the morning so he could meet up with other strikers at a Burger King there.

Rosa is 19 years old and lives with his mother and older brother and sister. He wants his hourly wage, now $9 an hour, to go to $15 so he can eventually move out.

Chad Tall who works at Taco Bell, a unit of Yum! Brands, was also striking with other workers outside a McDonald’s in New York.

“We’re here to get $15 and a union, we’re here to strike, we’re here to make some noise and we’re here to disrupt because that’s the only way to get their attention,” Tall said.

Nakiel Clemons said he went on strike this morning outside the Durham, North Carolina, Burger King where he works. He is headed to Raleigh later today.

Nakiel is 33 years old and has a 1-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son. He earns $7.45 an hour and says he can’t survive on that.

“I can’t worry about my manager seeing me on the strike line, I have to speak out.” said Nakiel.

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

The “Fight for $15” campaign started in New York in November 2012, when 200 fast-food workers demanded $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation.

Union organizers say the movement is credited with elevating the debate about inequality in the U.S. and helping raise the minimum wage in some states.

Earlier this year, workers in three states filed class-action suits against McDonald’s alleging widespread wage theft.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, McDonald’s said worker protests might force it to raise wages this year.