April 15 was the day McDonald’s Corp. first opened their doors to the public in Illinois – back in 1955. So, it’s fitting that workers launched international protests for higher wages and the right to unionize exactly 60 years later on McDonald’s birthday. Make no mistake: this is not about individual employees raving about isolated mistreatment. This is a global movement. It’s gaining momentum and publicity, and it doesn’t show any signs of dissipating.
(Photo Credit: TheNoxoid/Flickr)
So, here’s what you need to know about the protests, even if you don’t work in the food service industry.
The protests took place in more than 200 cities and 40 countries worldwide. Organizers called it “the largest-ever mobilization of underpaid workers.”
While McDonald’s announced pay raises for company-owned restaurants (about 90,000 workers), the $1 hourly increase was not offered to workers at more than 3,100 franchise-owned restaurants. The discrepancy annoyed franchise owners and employees alike, fueling protests.
3. Living Wage
You probably remember the budgeting plan that McDonald’s released to their employees a few years ago. While supposedly proposed as a well-intentioned plan to help employees cope with the realities of a low income, that budget inspired many of us to once again examine what it takes for an employee to survive on minimum wage. Low-wage workers rely on public assistance to feed their families and it’s costing taxpayers more than $150 billion every year.
4. A Major Movement
The protests are gaining momentum and showing results, and they’re also not just an annoyance anymore. Workers managed to shut down a McDonald’s restaurant in Denver.
Plus, recent legal decisions against Wal-Mart have shown that protesting is still a protected activity. Low-earning workers are free to make their displeasure known, without fear of retaliation from their employers. The latest worldwide protest shows that many fast food workers are doing just that.
Tell Us What You Think
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