Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

About 1,300 workers scheduled to attend convention, want $15-an-hour wages and a union
Associated Press
Jul 25, 2014

Fast food workers say they're prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

About 1,300 workers are scheduled to attend sessions Friday and Saturday at an expo center in Villa Park, Illinois, where they'll be asked to do "whatever it takes" to win $15-an-hour wages and a union, said Kendall Fells, organizing director of the national effort and a representative of the Service Employees International Union.

The union has been providing financial and organizational support to the fast-food protests that began in late 2012 in New York City and have included daylong strikes and a protest outside this year's McDonald's Corp. shareholder meeting that resulted in more than 130 arrests.

"We want to talk about building leadership, power and doing whatever it takes depending on what city they're in and what the moment calls for," said Fells, adding that the ramped-up actions will be "more high profile" and could include everything from civil disobedience to intensified efforts to organize workers.

"I personally think we need to get more workers involved and shut these businesses down until they listen to us," perhaps even by occupying the restaurants, said Cherri Delisline, a 27-year-old single mother from Charleston, South Carolina, who has worked at McDonald's for 10 years and makes $7.35 an hour.

Delisline said she and her four girls live with her mother, but the family still has difficulty paying utilities and the mortgage while providing for her children. She said she has not been to a doctor in two years and does not get paid if she stays home sick.

"To have a livable wage, it's going to need to be $15 an hour," said Delisline. "We make the owners enough money that they have houses and cars and their kids are taken care of. Why don't (they) make sure I can be able to do the same for my kids and my family?"

The campaign comes as President Barack Obama and many other Democrats across the country have attempted to make a campaign issue out of their call to increase the federal and state minimum wages.

The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour translates to about $15,000 a year for someone working 40 hours a week, though many fast-food workers get far fewer hours. Obama and others have called for increasing it to $10.10.

Fast food workers say even that's not enough because most people working in the industry now are adults with children, rather than teenagers earning pocket money. The restaurant industry has argued that a $15 hourly wage could lead to business closings and job cuts, though the Seattle City Council recently voted to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour, phased in over several years.

A McDonald's spokeswoman did not return a message seeking comment.

The National Restaurant Association said Thursday that increasing wages to $15 will not solve income inequality and that the campaign was an attempt by unions to boost dwindling membership.

"Instead of demonizing an industry that opens doors for workers of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels, the focus should be on finding better solutions to lift individuals out of poverty," including policies that increase education and job training, said Scott DeFife, the association's executive vice president of policy and government affairs.

Turnout for the protests has varied, but they've struck a chord at a time when the gap between the country's rich and poor has widened. Executive pay packages also are coming under greater scrutiny, including that of McDonald's CEO Don Thompson, who was given a pay package worth $9.5 million last year. Nevertheless, shareholders this year overwhelmingly voted in favor of McDonald's executive compensation practices.

Nancy Salgado of Chicago said she and her two children share a bedroom after being forced to move into an apartment with two other adults after her hours at McDonald's were cut from 40 a week to about 24.

"I don't think $15 will make me rich. ... I just want an apartment for my family and be able to have my kids in their own room, to not have to wait for the washing machine or the bathtub, and I don't want to be behind on bills if I take time off or get sick," said Salgado, who earns minimum wage after 12 years with the company.

"If we've got to stop working and shut down (restaurants) to get it, that's what we're going to do," she said.

Comments

downthemiddle

Which labor union is paying their travel expenses? seiu?

The Big Dog's back

Why do you care?

downthemiddle

Because I have stock in a few fast food chains... as do you if you if you have any mutual funds in your uaw defined benefit pension.

That's why.

...But you wouldn't know what you've got because somebody else got it for ya'.

Got it?

The Big Dog's back

So you hate the workers even though they're the ones making money for your stock value.

downthemiddle

Far from hating them.. I want them to be paid correctly for their work. Hopefully, they will obtain better employment and be able to afford a better standard of living which includes fast food that doesn't cost like lobster because of inflated wages throughout the food industry.

You hate capitalism so badly that you would prefer spiraling inflation.... like Carter had in '79.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

They aren't even paid the $15/hour they are demanding. In its own way it would appear to be ironic. I do feel bad for these workers being caught in the position they are in. There's a whole lotta desperation going around and unfortunately that makes people do rash things based on ignorance.

Meanwhile our President is browbeating American corporations for (supposedly) doing what he does on a regular basis and not doing anything at all to actually make an environment that is friendly and competitive. Congress isn't much better and the reason why nothing has changed in 40-50 years is because our Congress hasn't.

While it's a slight deviation from topic: http://conventionofstates.com/

jibber jabber

YOU know, Inflation is going to go UP no matter if wages go up or not. And that's been proven every year.

The only other alternative is, they can collect from the welfare system, mothers living in there cars with there children.

You have been lied to so much for so many years, you need to wake up.

puddin95

Now for us making 18 to 23 dollars an hour how do we increase it like they are?

Maggdi

You don't Puddin'.
Wage disparities make the people who have lower skill levels feel bad about themselves and no one should feel bad about their self... So people with higher skills should just shut up and do their part for the betterment of EVERYONE!
I'm sure everyone here would agree that everyone can not make a million dollars a year....? Right?

Bottom Line

It makes you feel like all hope for our nation is lost when there's people who actually believe they're entitled to $15 per hour for flipping burgers. And they're all too dumb to realize they would be the FIRST ones negatively impacted by it happening.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

"...I just want an apartment for my family and be able to have my kids in their own room, to not have to wait for the washing machine or the bathtub, and I don't want to be behind on bills if I take time off or get sick,..."

Reminds me of the Onion article (http://www.theonion.com/articles...):

Nation Just Wants To Be Safe, Happy, Rich, Comfortable, Entertained At All Times
Also Healthy, Fulfilled, Successful, and Loved

These are all things that we desire, they are not things that can (let alone should) be guaranteed in life. After 12 years, why is she in the same job making minimum wage? There's always more to the story. As much as I believe she doesn't see her desires to have OTHER people secure HER happiness as absurd...there it is.

#FWP
http://first-world-problems.com/...

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/fi...

WhatTheHeck

Very good comment

44846GWP

$15 an hour?! No. Fast food is an entry level job, or a part-time job to supplement income. It's not meant to be a living wage job! Get a G.E.D., then go to College.

Dr.Gonzo

Now if they would only put this much effort into getting a better education..........

Please

If you don't like your job because of what you are making, use your skills to get a better paying job! That's what everyone says about others that complain about how dangerous their jobs are or how much they hate their jobs. Applies to these positions also. Don't like it go somewhere else!

Sandumpy Proud

We shall overcome!

Donegan

Pay them 100 bucks a hour! For god's sake let them make 300,000 dollars a year!!! Let them aspire to what they despise, Let them realize that they are the evil that is rotting the US from the core out but not actually working for it and being handed the golden ring..
Nah let them re-elect the same parties hat have lead them here. Re-tarted voters will always vote for the lowest denominator.
When the inmates rule the asylum its hard to argue about the bill.

Dr. Information

Or as Nanci Pelosi would say, unemployment is actually freedom to pursue whatever you want to do in life.

wigglewagon

15 dollars an hour lol this has got to be a joke right? Fast food is a job for high school kids just because there too lazy or can't stop smoking pot to get a real job don't mean you should make 15 an hour at McDonald's. Grow up get an education and get a real job.

FunnyGuy

One more reason not to eat fast food.

The Big Dog's back

The classic image of the high-school student flipping Big Macs after class is sorely out of date. Because of lingering unemployment and a relative abundance of fast-food jobs, older workers are increasingly entering the industry. These days, according to the National Employment Law Project, the average age of fast-food workers is 29. Forty percent are 25 or older; 31 percent have at least attempted college; more than 26 percent are parents raising children. Union organizers say that one-third to one-half of them have more than one job — like Mr. Shoy, who is 58 and supports a wife and children.

Dr. Information

Sound like a bunch of people who continue to make mistakes and want others to pay for it.

Maggdi

Did you know that when you copy and paste something that you should at least put parentheses around it and maybe site the author or publication it came from? Otherwise it's called plagiarism.

Contango

Agreed.

His source:

"Life on $7.25 an Hour":

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/0...

Liberals believe that theft for the purposes of redistribution is almost always permissible.

If a person poorer than themselves robs their home, a 'true' compassionate liberal shouldn't want the items returned should they?

The Big Dog's back

And if I did that would it make a difference in your thinking? I'll answer that for you. NO!!!!

Maggdi

You're right Dog. It would make no difference to me. But the point was it's at the very least rude not to give credit to the person who's written thought was inspiring enough to copy......
And the reason it would make no difference to me is that I know the fact that no matter how justified this mob thinks it is in their stated grievance, eventually you "run out of other people's money" (to quote Lady Margret Thatcher)
See? It wasn't that hard and I didn't even have to copy and paste. :)

jazzbo

Maggdi- that was rambling crap.

You should have copied and pasted somebody else work rather than put your own "thoughts " down.

The Big Dog's back

magpie, I was showing the average age of people who work in fast food. It's not 16 year olds as some of you right wingnuts think.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

It is lazy and dishonest. At least have a modicum of self respect and credit the source from which you copy. If you can't be bothered to cite where you got your info why SHOULD anyone care about what you have to say? Nothing is wrong with paraphrasing articles (I do it often) but to just leave it out there like their words are yours? That is intellectually immoral and deceiving to whatever kind of reader you hope to reach.

The Big Dog's back

I give a sheet what you think. I don't tell you how to post so don't tell me. Now go back in the closet.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Now way! Did you...? Yes, yes you did. A-are you a homophobe, Big Dog? "Get back in the closet." Seriously? I'm not even gay and you say this stuff? Maaaaaan oh man. You are the epitome of the Republican stereotype and you can't even see it. That said...

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the champion of the Democratic Party in the Sandusky Register forums! Give this man a prize! This man speaks for you and your party here. Rally behind him as he spearheads efforts to spread the message of your party to all far and wide!

On another note, I will continue to call you out every time you steal other people's words and not give them credit. I will do it loud and proud, to use a phrase that may make your homophobic skin crawl. You and I are gonna be best buds in combating plagiarism, Big Dog.

Dr. Information

Dogs a fat lazy guy who just had a heart attack and is working on #2. Don't let us down Dog.

Contango

The 'cure' for rising wages: automation.

The factories of 30-40 yrs. ago use to need thousands of ees.

Today, many of those same plants can be operated with just a handful of highly-trained, highly compensated technicians operating computers which control the automated processes.

The same can and will occur in the fast food and other min. wage industries, leaving tens of thousands more unemployed.

Pursuing higher wages in a 'dead-end' job is ultimately a losing proposition.

The Mkt. (supply & demand) determines the value of labor, NOT the politicians or the State.

Wanna end unemployment? End the min. wage.

The Big Dog's back

What a stupid thing to say. So we'll have people getting paid a $1.60 an hour again?

Contango

Re: "people getting paid a $1.60 an hour,"

Some people's rate of productivity isn't even worth that amt.

What hourly wage should be paid for a worker standing around doin' nothing?

After displacement, reversion to the mean.

The State cannot determine the value of labor, only the Mkt. (supply and demand) can.

Dr. Information

Contango. I just had a young man tell me he just got promoted at his work place and I said congrats, now what do you do. Honestly, he couldn't tell me, he just said he gets paid to walk around and flirt with all the young girls.

whattheBucks

$15 an hour ? It can't be made any easier for these people. They have replaced words on the registers with pictures for all of these not so bright that can't read years ago. If you want to make $15 an hour get off your lazy
A$$ go to school, or at least finish school, stop having babies right and left, stop buying $300 tennis shoes, stop buying blunts, ...save some money and maybe you can afford rent, or food. Get you priorities straight.

pntbutterandjelly

Maybe we should eliminate all wages except for those working in the "corporate world" and investors. There are many forms of "slavery" and economic slavery is as good as any other. "Keep them poor, busy and distracted and they will go away."
Are any of you aware of why unions were formed? Have you ever heard of child labor and sweat shops? Did any of you NOT have protections during your employment years? Were you NOT provided health benefits, retirement packages and some form of wage guarantees? Or...don't you care about others? I think many of you have really distorted ideas of how a democracy in conjunction with capitalism is supposed to work and are now in favor of "self". American greed is the Achilles heal of capitalism.

Contango

Re: "health benefits, retirement packages and some form of wage guarantees,"

For the most part: a response to FDR's WWII wage and price controls.

Since employers could not legally raise wages, they provided benefits in order to compete for much need labor.

Most union health and safety protection issues have been codified into fed and state law making unions largely an anachronism.

Technically the USSR had no unemployment, since every working citizen was employed by the State.

Workers could not quit a job without the State's permission, which was rarely granted.

Talk about "slavery." lol

What you simplistically call "greed," is often referred to as 'self-interest.'

The Big Dog's back

Sounds like what you want here with the elimination of minimum wage. Backward Soviet.

Contango

Re: "Soviet,"

Went bankrupt due to malinvestment & debt.

knowitall

Contango......greed and self interest are two very different things. Don't try to change the words. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins and is a choice. Self interest is what it says.

Contango

Re: "greed"

Then define your terms.

Pres. Clinton: "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is,' is. "

knowitall

Lol

knowitall

There is no gray area in the definition of greed and self-interest. Look it up!
Pres. Clinton had good reason for evading the question but it didn't work for him!

knowitall

PBJ....well said.

SamAdams

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it...and it's clear that there are a whole lot of people who either never learned anything in school or who've forgotten it all!

EVERY TIME the minimum wage has been raised, there's been a corresponding loss of jobs. EVERY TIME wages are over-inflated (and $15 an hour to flip burgers or ask,"Do you want fries with that?" is most certainly over-inflated!), other prices go up.

A truly free market will balance itself out in short order. If McDonald's can't hire enough people when it's paying $7 an hour, it'll offer $8. But FORCING wage increases isn't going to do anything positive for longer than about 30 seconds because jobs will be lost and other prices will be raised to compensate. In the end, making $15 an hour will end up being the equivalent of making $6 or $7 an hour and it won't take long to reach that point.

Do American schools no longer teach history? Economics? Or even simple math? Sheesh!

deertracker

What is the equivalent of 6 or 7 dollars per hour now?

Contango

Re: "prices will be raised to compensate."

See: Price-wage spiral.

Raising prices will result in selling less product which in turn will reduce the necessity of labor, i.e. the least valuable worker gets fired.

The Big Dog's back

Exactly sam. We already went thru the things you advocate in the 20's. Wonder how that worked out? Oh yeah, the Great Depression. It is you who needs to learn history.

knowitall

So, lower the mimimum wage and increase jobs?

2cents's picture
2cents

"Delisline said she and her four girls live with her mother"

And where is daddy, and why have 4 kids if you do not know how you will acquire the $250,000.00 each to bring them to 18 years of age???

Dr. Information

Its called NO RESPONSIBILITY and wanting everyone else to pay for ones mistakes.

Donegan

"1. You are worth precisely what an employer will pay for you, and nothing more.
2. If you need government to set you a minimum wage, it’s because you have failed to make yourself worth more than a minimum wage."

deertracker

Agreed and that burger is worth far less than what you pay for it!

Contango

Re: "what you pay for it!"

Then why are you eating it and b*tchin' about it?

The Big Dog's back

Just to pizz you off.

Dr. Information

Dog, come on kid, you are working on heart attack #2 this year, that is why you visit the fast food chains like a fat kid in a candy store. Dog, you got this. #2.......#2......#2......

jazzbo

Why don't YOU get a heart attack , jerk ?

The Big Dog's back

dr no info, I thought you right wingnuts knew everything? You would certainly know the difference between a heart attack and a heart valve replacement. But just as I believe you right wingnuts lounge around the bottom of the ignorance pit.

Contango

Re: "heart valve replacement,"

Now the pig-dog.

2cents's picture
2cents

"I’m not going to hold my breath and expect Moore to redistribute his assets to the poor, because it’s actually common for far-left loons to amass large fortunes while claiming to be “defenders of the poor.”

http://www.ijreview.com/2014/07/...

"Instead of supporting the free market that gave Michael Moore this opportunity to live such an opulent lifestyle, he’s a socialist who supports a system that keeps people perpetually poor. In other words, he’s just another far-left hypocrite."

downthemiddle

He's worse.. he profits from spewing his nonsense through his propaganda films.

BTW.... he is in a divorce and defending against a HUGE settlement which includes a 2 million dollar home on Torch Lake, Mi.

Contango

Re: "HUGE settlement,"

Remember divorce lawyer, Gavin D'Amato (Danny DeVito) in "The War of the Roses":

"Be generous to a fault."

MM = typical fat *ss, socialist hypocrite.

Contango

About the only time that I stop at Mickey D's or Burger King is for coffee when I'm travelling.

I NEVER eat that second class food.

Pay 'em $50/hr. for all I give a sh*t.

deertracker

Second class? You mean garbage but you love those free roaches!

Contango

Re: "You mean,"

Is 13 your age or your IQ?

Dr. Information

13 at best.

Contango

"Carl's Jr. and Hardee's Fast Food CEO Says Minimum Wage Increases Cause Restaurants to Close":

http://www.latinpost.com/article...

The Big Dog's back

Oh, well, discussion over. 2 useless CEO's adding their 2 cents. If they can't make it then get out, someone else will pick up the slack.

knowitall

So close them up. We have BK, McD, Wendy's, Taco Bell. Plenty of fast food. That is the republican way....competition.

downthemiddle

dog... if you were going to pay someone to do yard work, what would consider reasonable?

deertracker

If you pay 30 bucks to a lawncare guy how much is that per hour?

Contango

Re: "how much is that per hour?"

Not a "living wage." Hypocrite.

The Big Dog's back

Pay him $30 for 20 minutes of work. Figure it out.

downthemiddle

I'm lazy... but not THAT lazy.

Contango

Re: "20 minutes of work,"

20 mins? Get your porcine butt out there and work off some of that flab.

Dr. Information

Dogs working on 2 heart attacks this year. Come on Dog, don't let us down, get out the swiss miss box and start eating your way to #2. You got this kid.

The Big Dog's back

Gee dr. missinfo, I don't remember the last time you wrote anything of value. Oh, I know why. You have never written anything of value.

jazzbo

Dr. Information ......drop dead.

The Big Dog's back

dr no info, I thought you right wingnuts knew everything? You would certainly know the difference between a heart attack and a heart valve replacement. But just as I believe you right wingnuts lounge around the bottom of the ignorance pit.

Contango

Re: "heart valve replacement,"

Pig-dog writes: "I had the exact same surgery."

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

"Biological valves can be made from pig tissue (porcine), cow tissue pericardial (bovine), or pericardial tissue from other species."

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/he...

Dr. Information

How fitting. Bhahahaa

Contango

"Big Dog" is now Pig-Dog. :)

Dr. Information

Flipping burgers is worth about 8-9 bucks an hour. Its not hard at all. If you want 15 bucks an hour, go get a trade skill or education.

Contango

Re: "Flipping burgers,"

Numerous owners of fast food joints started out at the lower rungs.

As is said: There are no sm. parts, only sm. actors.

"How the McDonald’s burger chain became a pioneer for black-owned businesses"

http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.co...

WhatTheHeck

If all you so called Republicans on here would get up off of your lazy duffs and ride the public transportation to the polling site this fall the Dems wouldn't win the elections.

lunchtime 175

Yes fast food workers should make a decent wage that they can live off of. Its just as a hard of a job as as working in a factory, etc. And they have to put up with customers who have no patience waiting in line for their food, etc. etc. If everything was equal in this country and everyone made the same then there would be a lot less crime in this country. It is as bad as food places paying super low wages and expecting customers to make up the difference with tips?? There are not enough good paying jobs for just everyone to get these days so I think fast food places need to pay decent wages, the owners of the places live in palaces so why shouldn't the workers that work in the fast food places make the money for the owners at least make enough money to live off of without having to work 100 hours a week????