Arrests start as fast-food worker walk off the job in dozens of cities

NEW YORK  — Fast-food workers have made good on a promise of civil disobedience in protests aimed at boosting pay to $15 an hour and joining a union without retaliation.

There have been up to 30 arrests so far in Detroit and 19 in New York., according to police in both cities. Protesters were charged with disorderly conduct for blocking traffic.

“We will be ready for anything,” said Public Information Officer Adam Madera of the Detroit Police Department, when asked if he expected more arrests throughout the day.

Organizers say that fast-food workers at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC, which is owned by Yum! Brands, are walking off the job in dozens of cities.

The actions are the latest in a two-year effort by fast-food workers to get employers to pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour and allow them to form unions.

Currently, the median pay for fast-food workers is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That’s roughly $4,500 lower than the Census Bureau’s poverty threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

Thursday’s protests come more than a month after the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel ruled that McDonald’s is a joint employer that exerts substantial power over working conditions at its franchisees. The ruling, if upheld, means McDonald’s could be held liable for labor violations at its more than 12,000 franchisee-owned restaurants.

McDonald’s has contended that franchisees operate as independent businesses and that, therefore, it’s not liable.

In March, McDonald’s workers filed class-action lawsuits in New York, California and Michigan over wage theft violations. The suits allege that McDonald’s has forced employees to work off the clock, not paid them overtime and struck hours off their time cards.

Union organizers say the movement has elevated the debate about inequality in the United States and helped raise the minimum wage in some states, including Connecticut and New Jersey.

5 comments

  • Becky

    Outrage for Publicity IS Democrats. Media Governance there to cover, endorse, sanction, hype
    and broadcast the staged Production Number now know as their Government Way.
    IF enough Civil Disobedience, Riots, and killing happen, then Government will Dictate Martial Law
    to Supreme Dictate. Somehow, somewhere Police will be Blamed for the behaviors of the elect,
    select, profiled preferred and protected arms and armies of the their Government.
    All in accordance with Government Agenda, feed, stroked, inflamed by Governing Media.
    Say it ain’t so with the documented, recorded, videoed, published History since 09.

    • Morning Dew

      I think it would be much easier to understand your posts if you used the part of speech known as an “article, i.e. the, a and an.” Don’t be lazy, take the extra time to really type out what you mean. Don’t leave it up to the reader to struggle with what they think you might mean. The Use of Capitalizing words you fee are Important, also makes your Post Difficult to read. Becky, you may have something to say, but you would reach more people if you used proper grammar and case.

  • Becky

    Hope they March in to their JOBS tomorrow and find they aren’t there for failure to show up for their
    JOBS the day before.

  • Paula

    Becky you are so sefish. These people work hard. If you feel that way the next time you go to a fast food place you need to choke on it.

  • Steel Mill

    I support these workers. They work for chump change and it is not work that is dominated by teenagers like it was many years ago.
    A liveable wage seem fair to me and if the price of the burger goes up some, that is ok.

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