[Rushtalk] Farm workers strike over H-2A, pay

Paf Dvorak notmyname at thatswaytoomuch.info
Thu Aug 29 13:32:57 MDT 2013


Similar news:

Fast-food workers strike nationwide in protest against wages


Read more: 
<http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/29/fast-food-workers-to-strike-nationwide-over-wages/#ixzz2dO8bNUSw>http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/29/fast-food-workers-to-strike-nationwide-over-wages/#ixzz2dO8bNUSw

Hundreds of protesters across the US marched Thursday to demand 
higher wages for fast-food workers, forcing the closure of one 
McDonald's in Detroit after its employees walked out.

The protests are underway in cities including New York, Boston and 
Chicago, and organizers are expecting the biggest national walkouts yet.

A McDonald's restaurant in Detroit closed Thursday morning as workers 
and protesters chanted "hey hey, ho ho, $7.40's got to go," outside, 
WJBK reports.

In New York, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined about 300 to 
400 protesters in a march before flooding inside a McDonald's near 
the Empire State Building on Thursday morning. Shortly after the 
demonstration, however, the restaurant seemed to be operating 
normally and a few customers said they hadn't heard of the movement. 
The same was true at a McDonald's a few blocks away.

The lack of awareness among some illustrates the challenge workers 
face. Participating workers, who are asking for $15 an hour, still 
represent a tiny fraction of the industry. The federal minimum wage 
is $7.25 an hour, which works out to about $15,000 a year for 
full-time employees.

The movement comes amid calls from the White House, some members of 
Congress and economists to hike the federal minimum wage. But most 
proposals seek a far more modest increase than the one workers are 
asking for, with President Barack Obama wanting to boost it to $9 an hour.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Associate Press, Labor Secretary 
Thomas Perez said the strikes are another sign of the need to raise 
the minimum wage for all workers. He compared the protests to the 
demands of demonstrators in the 1963 March on Washington, who sought 
a national minimum wage to give workers better living standards.

"For all too many people working minimum wage jobs, the rungs on the 
ladder of opportunity are feeling further and further apart," said 
Perez, who's taking a lead role in Obama's push to boost the minimum wage.

The Service Employees International Union, which represents more than 
2 million works in health care, janitorial and other industries, has 
been providing financial support and training for local organizers 
around the country.

Organizers say the strikes will hit more than 50 cities on Thursday, 
following a series of strikes that began last November in New York 
City. The biggest effort so far was over the summer when about 2,200 
of the country's millions of fast-food workers staged a one-day 
strike in seven cities.

Ryan Carter, a 29-year-old who was walking out of the McDonald's 
where workers demonstrated on Thursday, said he "absolutely" 
supported workers demand for higher wages.

"They work harder than the billionaires in this city," he said. But 
Carter, who was holding a cup of the chain's coffee he bought for $1, 
said he didn't plan to stop his regular trips to McDonald's.

McDonald's Corp. and Burger King Worldwide Inc. say they don't make 
decisions about pay for the independent franchisees that operate the 
majority of their U.S. restaurants. Wendy's and Yum Brands Inc., 
which owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, did not respond to requests 
for comment.

Workers were also expected to walk off their jobs in cities including 
Atlanta, Boston, Hartford, Conn., Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Many 
targeted restaurants will likely be able to stay open, however. The 
strikes were announced earlier, giving managers time to adjust staffing levels.

Read more: 
<http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/29/fast-food-workers-to-strike-nationwide-over-wages/#ixzz2dO8kYR5K>http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/29/fast-food-workers-to-strike-nationwide-over-wages/#ixzz2dO8kYR5K



Paf Dvorak  
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