The ongoing wave of one-day fast food strikes is jumping to the west coast, specifically Seattle, Thursday.
of walkouts in New York City
were followed by Chicago
, then St. Louis
, then Detroit
, and finally, federal contract workers
in Washington, D.C. The strikes are spread across many restaurants in a city, with a minority of workers walking out in most cases, with the goal of building a movement that creates pressure on the industry as a whole, not specific outlets. The strikes have managed to shut down some restaurants at least briefly, though. And that appears to be the case in Seattle:
Organizers behind Seattle fast-food strike say walkouts have shut down six joints there: Taco Bell, 2 BK's and 4 Subways
— @dave_jamieson via web
As in other cities, the striking Seattle workers are seeking pay increases to $15 an hour and the right to join a union without retaliation. And their complaints
“A lot of times we’ll work ‘til 4 or 5 in the morning trying to get things done for corporate people to make money,” said [Taco Bell worker Caroline] Durocher. “And we don’t ever see any of that money.” With a good raise, she told The Nation, “I’d be able to save money to get into my own place…I’d be able to eat something other than Taco Bell. I’d be able to go back to school.”
A number of workers told their stories at a low-wage worker story slam
in early May:
Pancho works at a fast food chain & washes dishes by hand because the dishwasher was removed to save money. #povertyslam
— @sarahljaffe via Twitter for Android
Washington has the highest state minimum wage, at $9.19, which means that a year of full-time work (rare in the fast food industry) would pay a whopping $19,000.
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