Skip to main content

Demonstrators holding posters march during a protest to demand higher wages for fast-food workers in Tokyo's Shibuya shopping and amusement district May 15, 2014. The march was held as part of an international protest by fast-food workers who planned to go on strikes in 150 cities across the United States and demonstrations in 33 other countries on Thursday to demand higher pay and better working conditions.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3P8AL
Fast food protesters in Japan

Fast food workers around the world are striking and rallying with supporters in a global expansion of the waves of one-day strikes held throughout the United States over the past year and a half. The strikers are claiming credit for temporarily closing several fast food restaurants or forcing managers to take over operations.

Steven Greenhouse reports, of the expansion to other countries:

“It’s a global economy, so they’re saying, ‘Why not go overseas to make it into a global fight?’ ” said Lowell Turner, a professor of international labor relations at Cornell University. “They’re trying to create a global protest movement.”

The movement’s organizers say there will be protests in 30 cities in Japan, 20 in Britain, five in Brazil and three in India. The effort’s strategists point to some fast-growing overseas markets as vulnerable targets for corporations like McDonald’s that have begun relying more heavily on foreign revenue now that domestic fast food sales have languished.

In the U.S., workers emphasize not just the low wages they are paid even after years of experience, but questions of justice:
Jamie Branch, a McDonald’s employee in Rockford, Illinois, said she’s going on strike to demand the company better value her and her coworkers. “The reason I’m going on strike is because I feel like they are underpaying their workers,” she said, “because we do matter.” She trains coworkers at the chain and knows how much is expected of them. “We do the work of two to three people in any given day,” she said. Yet the workers struggle to get by. “That corporation is making billions of dollars in the same hour they’re paying me eight measly dollars,” she said. “It’s time for me to start getting acknowledged and treated as if I matter.”
Though the strikes are spreading, the odds are still not in the workers' favor. They're up against huge, profitable companies that have built a business model around low-wage labor, and have lobbyists and lawyers to protect that model. But nothing will change without organizing, and worker activism does have to be credited for some of the momentum behind increasing the minimum wage, as we've seen recently in several states and in Seattle, where it's headed to the $15 an hour the fast food workers have been calling for in their strikes.

Go below the fold for some tweets from fast food actions around the world.

Police tried to stop the #FastFoodGlobal protests in Mumbai by pulling their permit. Didn't work.
"About 20 of us didn't show up for the morning shift at Rock N Roll @McDonalds", their most profitable store! - Inés
In front if Rock & Roll @McDonalds with @actionnowchi in the house! #fightfor15
Pakistani workers in action! Global #solidarity #FastFoodGlobal
Security Workers from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol support Fast Food Workers worldwide today. #FastFoodGlobal #fnv

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH, Retail and Workplace Pragmatists - Members and Editors, Protest Music, and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site