Just days after Walmart workers made history with their Black Friday strike, hundreds of workers at McDonald's, Burger King, and other fast food chains have walked off the job in New York City, demanding a living wage and union representation.
Like the Walmart workers who went on strike last week, fast food workers in New York are risking everything to challenge a system that keeps millions in poverty so a few massive corporations can make huge profits. If this strike shows that low-wage workers can fight back and win, it would be a huge step towards creating a more just economy -- and they need all the support they can get.
This strike could change the lives of thousands of workers -- workers like Chyna Scott, who works at a McDonald's in the Bronx. Chyna makes $7.25 an hour, and hasn't been able to find an apartment she can afford, so for the last year, she and her three year-old daughter, Jakiya, have been living in a homeless shelter.
There are 50,000 fast food workers in New York City, making as little as $11,000 a year. And these aren't just teenagers looking for a little spare cash: The typical fast food worker is 28 years old, and many of them have children of their own. Many need public assistance to make ends meet.
Fast food workers are so underpaid that they rely on food stamps, Medicaid, housing vouchers, and other forms of public assistance to make ends meet. That means that, like Walmart, fast food giants like McDonld's and Burger King are costing taxpayers millions every year.
These workers aren't just taking on one company -- they're trying to change a whole industry. Right now, workers are striking at Burger King, Wendy's, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Domino's, and McDonald's. Thirty stores have been shut down, and organizers are expecting more to follow suit.
If these workers are going to change the fast food industry, they need all the help they can get, and that's where the SumOfUs.org community comes in. If enough of us raise our voices in support of these workers, all these fast food chains will know that mistreating workers could hurt their bottom lines. And more workers will be likely to join the strike if they know their customers are standing with them.
Rob, Paul, Kaytee, and the team at SumOfUs