The nationwide strike is spearheaded by the website lowpayisnotok.org, a loosely organized group of fast food workers and others concerned with low wage. Fast food workers, including many in Seattle, walked out on their jobs in protest of low wages multiple times throughout the past few months. Workers seek a raise in pay to $15-an-hour, the right to unionize without retaliation and a change in what some call unfair labor practices.
Many, such as Burger King employee Terrance Wise, said the walkout is an effort to put pressure on the $200 billion fast-food industry.
“The more of us who go on strike that day, the louder our message will be that it is not right for companies making billions in profits to pay their workers pennies,” Wise said.
Retail workers from stores such as Macy’s, Sears and Dollar Tree are expected to join in the strike, lowpayisnot.org organizers said.
The strike will take place the day after the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, a march that called to raise minimum wage of $2 per hour. Adjusted to inflation, that minimum wage would equal $15.26 an hour today, according to an online inflation rate calculator. The federal minimum wage in 1963 was $1.25, which would equate to around $9.45 today.
Opponents of raising minimum wage say it will affect costs all across the industry, further compounding the problem.