Fast-food strike expands call for better wages, working conditions


Fast-food strike expands call for better wages, working conditions

Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013

A national day of strikes is planned in dozens of American cities for Aug. 29 by fast food workers and other low-wage employees. The campaign for a minimum wage increase has gained clarity and public support since the walkouts began last November, according to Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of Labor Education Research at Cornell’s ILR School.

Bronfenbrenner says:

“These strikes will cover more cities, in more states, and more workers than the others. The pressure will be put on state and federal government to raise the minimum wage and on the parent corporations to improve working conditions in the stores.

“This will be the first time the strike may start spreading south, where the same institutions in the black community who are organizing over the voting rights decision are in place to support striking black and immigrant workers.

“In those communities just as elsewhere, the stronger the community networks and institutions, the more workers will participate in the strike there because the public support will help them keep their jobs after the walkout. In this strike, the campaign has articulated its goals more clearly. It’s focusing the attention on the state legislatures, because that is where workers, SEIU, and the community allies have the most leverage, and on the parent corporations rather than the franchise operators, because the corporations are the decision makers in the industry.”

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