Fast Food Strike: 9 Photos From Thursday's Day Of Action

Fast-food workers staged a nationwide strike across at least 58 cities Thursday to demand higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation. 

The strike, believed to be the largest in the industry's history, will also hit cities that have never seen concentrated fast food labor activism before, including Hartford, Conn., Dallas, Texas, and Berkley, Calif. Workers are demanding wages of $15 an hour, up from $7.25, which is the current federal minimum wage.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more more than 4 million fast-food workers in the United States who earned an average annual salary of $18,130 in 2010. Thursday's protest follows a similar one last November when almost 200 workers walked off their fast food jobs in New York City. 

"If you're paying $7.35 an hour and employing someone for 20, 25 hours a week, which is the average here, they're bringing home about $10,000 a year. You can't survive on that," said Martin Rafanan, a community organizer in St. Louis, Missouri. "Unless we can figure out how to make highly profitable companies pay a fair wage to their workers, we're just going to watch them pull all the blood, sweat, tears and money out of our communities."

U.S. corporations, however, argue that forcing them to raise wages will mean fewer jobs and higher prices which could end up hurting those with lower incomes even more. 

Here are 8 photos from Thursday's strike.


1. Ronald McDonald says, "Hold the burgers, hold the fries, make worker wages supersize!"

2. Demonstrators supporting fast-food workers protest outside a McDonald's in New York's Union Square.

3. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D - Ill) says, "Giving these workers a raise is not just good for them, it's good for America."

 

4. Supporters hold hands to show solidarity with fast-food workers striking across the country.

5. Workers at Wendy's shout, "We are not disposable."

6. An empty Burger King store in Los Angeles.

7. Thousands of fast-food workers in Denver joined the nationwide strike.

8. CVS workers deliver their demand letter with help from community groups and customers.

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Hyacinth Mascarenhas

Hyacinth is a graduate of the George Washington University where she majored in Journalism and Mass Communications. Her interests include cultural, social and political trends in the Middle East and South Asia, as well as human rights issues across the globe.

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