KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fast-food workers in 270 cities walked off their jobs in a protest for higher pay and union rights, organizers of Fight for $15 said.
The walkouts will be followed by protests including minimum wage workers in fast-food, home health care, child care and other sectors. Organizers hope the strikes and protests will gain the attention of presidential candidates heading into the 2016 election season.
Protesters are calling for wages of $15 per hour and the opportunity to form unions without retaliation or intimidation by management. The foodservice industry has argued that raising wages would kill jobs in the restaurant industry.
Some employers are increasing worker benefits. McDonald’s Corp. announced in April plans to expand employee benefits for employees at company owned stores. The company implemented wage increases, paid time off and expansion of the company’s Archways to Education program. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Starbucks also are among employers to implement wage increases.