A fast food worker from Papa Johns is on Chris Hayes right now talking about the massive strikes and worker walk out in fast food restaurants around the world. These workers are often the most marginalized, most jerked around, most oppressed people in society. The strikes today hit 150+ cities, and is, as Chris Hayes put it, "one of the biggest days of civil disobedience in recent memory". About 400 people were arrested all across the country. The massive day of solidarity is the culmination of a movement that is about 2 years in the making, the movement to raise the minimum wage to a liveable wage, and generally bring some dignity to minimum wage workers.
Back to the worker who was just on All In -- she works for a major pizza chain for minimum wage, and she tells of some of the same stories that many minimum wage workers all tell -- including myself. One of the biggest problems in my life currently is my work schedule -- which is subject to change. I do not get regular hours. Last month I got 110 in a pay period, this month I am getting 45 a pay period. It makes it absolutely impossible to schedule anything else in your life, because, essentially you are on call. She, also hinted toward this worry in many minimum wage workers lives -- inconsistent, variable hours that can go down as low as 25 in a single pay period.
You can't really know how unstable you feel on a schedule like this unless you live it. Look I have been working my job for about 3 months, and this has already affected my life in a big way. Financial planning, saving, doing any sort of budget gets thrown out the fucking window because ALL OF OUR HOURS ARE VARIABLE!
And then she said something that stunned me -- she has been working for this pizza chain for FIFTEEN YEARS! No raises, variable schedule, having to be on call -- it appears that seniority doesn't matter because they are still pulling this shit on her after 15 YEARS!
Let me just say that its a fucking disgrace how everyday workers are mistreated, underpaid, overworked, have no vacation time, and constantly have the threat of being fired hanging over their head...if you don't meet standards, even once, you could be on the streets. Thats how it is in minimum wage america.
I just can't believe that we still live like this. We deserve more respect than this. It sickens me that in the worlds largest economy, in the worlds two largest industries (the industry striking today, food service, and my industry, retail sales) can't give their workers a living wage and a single modicum of dignity. When someone is in a position like the worker on Chris Hayes program today, or in a situation like mine, it sure seems like the "American Dream" is a fairy tale, because I don't ever remember being told "You'll be insulted, degraded, have your dignity ripped from you, and rich people will make billions of dollars off of your hard work...oh and by the way fuck up once you are on the streets"