Fast Food Strike: McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King Employees Protest Against Low Wages In Massive Walk Out [VIDEO]

By Philip Ross on July 29, 2013 1:03 PM EDT

fast-food-strike
A fast food strike continues this week across the nation. Pictured, a protester holds up a sign at a demonstration outside McDonald's in Times Square in New York in Nov. 2012. Fast-food restaurant employees, many of whom work for minimum wage, protested in New York City last year demanding higher pay and the right to form a union as part of a movement called "Fast Food Forward." (Photo: Reuters)

A fast food strike in a number of cities across the U.S. began today. Thousands of workers went through with plans to stage one-day walkouts at some of the country's most popular fast food chains, including McDonald's, KFC, Wendy's and Burger King. The protesters are calling on fast food restaurants to raise their wages to $15 an hour and to allow them to form unions without retributions.

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"We live in America. Why shouldn't we have unions?" Greg Reynoso, a former Domino's employee in Brooklyn, told New York Daily News last week of the upcoming fast food strike. "We deserve to make more money. How can we live? It's impossible."

The New York Daily News reports that this is the city's third wave of protest in the past year. Fast food employees rallied last November, and again in April, for the same reasons that the fast food strike is happening today.

The fast food strike will take place in seven major cities across the U.S., including New York, Chicago, Detroit and Kansas City.

According to Washington Post, supporters of the fast food strike say that if American wages are to increase after flattening out for the past decade, low-wage jobs will have to pay more. Seven of the 10 fastest-growing jobs over the next ten years will be low-wage positions, federal researchers project. From Washington Post:

Protest supporters say the job actions have broad implications for the nation's work market. Employers have been adding low-wage jobs at a relatively rapid clip in the wake of a recession that wiped out many of the middle-income jobs available to people with few educational credentials.

The federal minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25 per hour as of July 24, 2009. A number of states also have minimum wage laws of their own. The state with the highest minimum wage is Washington, where workers are entitled to at least $9.19 an hour.

"With the Occupy movement and discussion about the 1 percent, people are much more aware about the increase in inequality," Janet Currie, an economics and policy affairs professor at Princeton University, in Princeton, New Jersey, said during an interview with Bloomberg. "There are a lot of people right at the top of the distribution who are doing better than that segment of the population has since the 1920s, and that's driving a lot of the income inequality."

In this video from RT America, uploaded to YouTube in April, Rachel Kurzius discusses the fast food strikes from earlier this year:

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