Here Comes The Next Fast Food Strike For Higher Wages

Yesterday, the NY Times Editorial Board called for a decrease in military pay. Today, they breathlessly report on a coming low wage worker strike

Seeking to increase pressure on McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other fast-food restaurants, organizers of a movement demanding a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers say they will sponsor one-day strikes in 100 cities on Thursday and protest activities in 100 additional cities.

The movement, which includes the groups Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15, is part of a growing union-backed effort by low-paid workers – including many Walmart workers and workers for federal contractors – that seeks to focus attention on what the groups say are inadequate wages.

The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.

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As the Other McCain writes

The slack-jawed teenager serving french fries and the hipster grad student serving latte at your local Starbucks – we must increase their pay, says the New York Times, whereas the men and women who take an oath to serve their nation . . . “Tough choices.”

These jobs were never meant to be ones for employees to make a living wage, to be the primary way of earning a living for adult, unless one becomes management.

Simon Rojas, who earns $8.07 an hour working at a McDonald’s in South Central Los Angeles, said he would join Thursday’s one-day strike.

“It’s very difficult to live off $8.07 an hour,” said Mr. Rojas, 23, noting that he is often assigned just 20 or 25 hours of work a week. “I have to live with my parents. I would like to be able to afford a car and an apartment.”

Mr. Rojas said he had studied for a pharmacy technician’s certificate, but he had been unable to save the $100 needed to apply for a license.

So rather than going out and getting a second job, or looking for a different job that pays well, he suffers working part time (amazing that there are so many part time jobs, eh?) for $8.07 an hour slinging fries. Obviously, we must increase the pay to $40 an hour!!!! Anyhow, R.S. McCain notes how Paul Krugman, who works at the same NY Times company, writes

The last few decades have been tough for many American workers, but especially hard on those employed in retail trade – a category that includes both the sales clerks at your local Walmart and the staff at your local McDonald’s. Despite the lingering effects of the financial crisis, America is a much richer country than it was 40 years ago. But the inflation-adjusted wages of nonsupervisory workers in retail trade – who weren’t particularly well paid to begin with – have fallen almost 30 percent since 1973.

So can anything be done to help these workers, many of whom depend on food stamps – if they can get them – to feed their families, and who depend on Medicaid – again, if they can get it – to provide essential health care? Yes. We can preserve and expand food stamps, not slash the program the way Republicans want. We can make health reform work, despite right-wing efforts to undermine the program.

And we can raise the minimum wage.

A couple points. First, it was Republicans who raised the wage to what it currently is, adding the increase into a defense spending bill that most Democrats voted against. Second, his paper just called for a decrease in military pay. People who serve, and fight, for America. Who put themselves in harm’s way. Who lose limbs and their lives. Krugman feels that people working basic jobs that are suited for teenagers, entry level folks, and seniors looking for something to do, should get big pay raises.

The NY Times Editorial Board also has a piece up today regarding NY City teachers calling for better wages for new teachers. But, hey, let’s cut back on military pay. There’s also another piece in the Opinionator section calling for an increase in the minimum wage. But not for military folks.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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