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Striking fast food workers and supporters rally in front of a midtown Manhattan McDonald's. Early morning, November 29, 2012.
Just a couple of the reasons fast food workers are fighting back across the country:
[Manhattan Burger King worker Kasseen] Silver, who is part of the Fast Food Forward campaign calling for a raise to $15 an hour and union recognition, lives in the Bronx with his wife and three children. It takes him about an hour and a half to get to work, closer to two hours when he gets out of an evening shift. “At 1:30, 2:00 in the morning I’ll be on public transportation. I take three different trains to get to my destination, sometimes I’m delayed. I’m very tired.”

Like so many of New York’s fast food workers, he makes $7.45 an hour, and rarely if ever is he scheduled for a full 40-hour week. Transportation takes a chunk of that money right off the top. “If I don’t have lunch money, breakfast money, if I don’t have any money throughout the week I have to make sure I have transportation to get to work and get back home,” he says. “That’s like $30 taken out of a $180 check.”

And even though he's a new employee trainer, Silver hasn't gotten a raise in two years at the same job.

And more:

  • Oh look. Another study showing that unemployment benefits don't keep people from getting new jobs.
  • Sharecropping on wheels in Savannah, Georgia.
  • The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, yet another important bill that Republicans will never let pass:
    Borrowing from the Americans With Disabilities Act, it would require employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees who have limitations stemming from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer. This means that an employer might be required to modify a no-food-or-drink policy, provide a stool, temporarily reassign heavy lifting duties to other employees, or give an available light-duty position to pregnant employees in order to accommodate pregnancy-related limitations.

    Despite the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, employers routinely deny requests for temporary work adjustments by pregnant workers, leaving many without a salary and health insurance because they were fired, forced to quit, or pushed to take unpaid leave. The PWFA is designed to address the gap in the law that leaves these workers unprotected.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu May 16, 2013 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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