Fast food workers all over the globe are in agreement, they just don’t get paid enough. A world-wide strike is set to begin May 15 as many of these workers plan to take decisive action to improve the situation. Ongoing protests concerning wages, such as this one in December 2013 and its predecessors, have been escalating this issue over the past several months, and it looks like it may be coming to a head.
Now the fight has gone global as countries across five different continents, including Japan, Germany, Brazil, Belgium and even New Zealand will be involved in a massive walk-out. The main issue? Workers do not feel that companies like McDonalds, Wendy’s, KFC or Burger King are providing them a living wage, and their ability to live quality lives suffer as a result. Single parents, especially women, are considered to be the most likely to work for less than living wage amounts in these types of jobs, desperate just to make ends meet and kids fed.
The worldwide protest is meant to be a one-day event to demonstrate the outrage over these underpaid people, and appears to be primarily aimed at McDonald’s. That company issued a warning to shareholders recently, warning of the possibility that they may be forced to raise their workers’ salaries to “a living wage”. However, a few of the demonstrators, such as Italian workers, will likely carry the fight on into the following day as well. Workers worldwide will stage protests outside fast food establishments with the hope of shutting down the businesses on those days, effectively costing the companies so much in profits that they will become more willing to listen to their workers’ demands.
Within the United States, the demands include $15 per hour wages and the ability to form a workers’ union. The protest there is primarily funded by the Service Employees International Union. Using everything in their arsenal including legal disputes, political activism, and other media events, they intend to continue to put pressure on the Fast Food Industry. In the past, they have already filed “wage-theft” lawsuits, announced the intention of raising Seattle’s minimum wages to $15 within the next decade, and released information proving a CEO to worker pay ratio of 543 to one in a 2012 study.