New York fast-food workers strike for higher pay

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NEW YORK — Workers at McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s restaurants across New York walked out Monday in a one-day strike to demand better pay and the right to unionize, calling for minimum wage to rise from $7.25 to $15 an hour and the end to what activists called “abusive labor practices.”

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Demonstrators in New York's Union Square march toward a McDonald's as they demand higher wages for fast-food workers and the right to form a union.   JOHN MINCHILLO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Demonstrators in New York's Union Square march toward a McDonald's as they demand higher wages for fast-food workers and the right to form a union.

“It’s noisy, it’s really hot, fast, they rush you. Some­times you don’t even get breaks. All for $7.25?” said Na­thalia Sepulveda, who works at a McDonald’s near Yank­ee Stadium in the Bronx,
where a protest took place.

Outside a McDonald’s and a Wendy’s in lower Man­hattan, workers chanted “we can’t survive on $7.25” and “supersize our wages.” At the Wen­dy’s, the crowd shouted at customers not to go in.

Hundreds protested across New York, activists said. Similar strikes are planned across the country this week, organized by Fast Food Forward, a campaign launched last year to tackle stagnating wages and the proliferation of low-wage jobs as the nation recovers from recession, said campaign director Jonathan Westin.

“The workers’ actions will lift up all of New York City,” he said. “If they have more money in their pockets, they’ll spend it right here, helping to
boost the entire economy.”

Doubling the minimum wage would have a “significant effect on the private sector’s ability to create jobs, especially those typically filled by first-time workers and teens,” said Scott DeFife of the National Restaurant Association. McDonald’s had directed requests for comment to the trade group.

Spokesmen for Burger King and Wendy’s both said they respect the rights of their workers.

Striking workers were joined by politicians, including U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat who represents the district. He said the fact that the fast food industry is worth $200 billion a year and yet many employees still rely on food stamps and Medicaid is “disgusting.”

Ashley Pinkney, who works at McDonald’s in Times Square, arrived at the downtown rally still in her uniform.

“I can’t even order something off the menu with what I earn,” she said. “It makes me wonder what I’m even doing there.”

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mosovich 07/29/13 - 09:38 pm

of course they rush you, it's called FAST FOOD, not move at your own pace and in your own time.. Try to work on advancing yourself with the company you work for.. Sure it's hard work, but no one ever said life was easy or work for that matter..

thauch12 07/29/13 - 10:21 pm

All I can do is laugh at the notion of minimum wage being $15 an hour in the United States of least in this day and age. Why it's funny is based in a very simple concept called inflation. All increasing wages will do is drive up the overall price level and that doesn't stop at drive-through windows. EVERYTHING suddenly becomes more expensive and at the end of the day, workers are no better off than where they started. It's sad though to see the labor unions using these uneducated workers as pawns to further their own agendas.

As a sidenote, these minimum wage jobs aren't meant to be careers. They aren't supposed support families. Unfortunately, people get stuck in these deadend jobs, but it's tough to blame the corporations for that...

redapples 07/29/13 - 10:26 pm
Who really thinks they make

Who really thinks they make what they are worth?! I was raised to know that if you wanted higher pay you had to obtain additional education and/or training and move up the ladder of success. I'm starting to think the America that I knew and loved no longer exists.

KSL 07/30/13 - 11:07 am
Strike for money. I hopr none

Strike for money. I hope none voted for Bloomberg!!

KSL 07/30/13 - 02:14 am
You get what you vote for!

You get what you vote for! Think before you vote next time. Too bad if you have been so dumbed down you can no longer think. Blame your parents. They voted before you.

pantherluvcik 07/30/13 - 12:03 pm
in the past fast food jobs

In the past fast food jobs were occupied by teenagers and maybe college students. Now you have so many adults occupying these positions that many of the kids don't have that option anymore for summer jobs. I think that's why these jobs (non-skilled) pay so little. That's the design of non-skilled occupations. If in my adult life I have to work as a fast food worker I don't think I could make it either. I suggest they go back to school and enhance their education. People feel entitled these days and it will ultimately be our downfall. I say work towards a career and let the teens keep their summer jobs.

charles6780 07/30/13 - 07:42 am
The fast food industry was

The fast food industry was never meant as a means to support a family. However due to the slack economy and stalled growth, this has now become the go to industry for those out of work. The protesters should be outside the White House and Capital protesting the policies that have insured they remain out of work and it will be getting worse. Many fast food business have posted for hire signs in and around this area for Part Time work only, due to the onset of Obama Care. The economy is not growing, businesses are not hiring and one need only look to the inside of the beltway for this boondoogle (waste of time and MONEY - ours).

Riverman1 07/30/13 - 09:14 am
McDonalds would close

McDonalds would close everywhere if a $15 went into effect. Investors would pull their money out and prices would be so high no one would eat there. Good, people should buy their own ground beef and cook their food at home for pennies.

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