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Fast-food workers: ‘Pay us more’

SEATTLE — Picketers took to the streets Thursday to demand a major pay raise, protesting outside some major fast-food restaurants, including McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell and Jimmy John’s.

The average fast-food employee makes just over $9-an-hour, or just about $18,500 a year. Now, workers are taking to the street to demand a pay raise to $15-an-hour as part of a nationwide effort. Besides better pay, many fast-food workers also want to be able to unionize and demonstrate without fear of retaliation.

In Seattle, protesters began their efforts at 6 a.m. outside of a Starbucks at 1125 4th Avenue. They plan to protest out outside of several locations throughout the day.

McDonalds USA released a statement saying:

photo“The story promoted by the individuals organizing these events does not provide an accurate picture of what it means to work at McDonald’s. We respect the strong relationship which exists among McDonald’s, our independent operators, and the employees who work in McDonald’s restaurants.  Our restaurants remain open, with our dedicated employees providing strong service to our customers.

McDonald’s aims to offer competitive pay and benefits to our employees.  We provide training and professional development for all of those who wish to take advantage of those opportunities.  Our history is full of examples of individuals who worked their first job with McDonald’s and went on to successful careers both within and outside of McDonald’s.”

A Wendy’s restaurant spokesperson also responded, saying they often pay higher than the minimum wage.

“We are proud to provide a place where thousands of people, who come to us asking for a job, can enter the workforce at a starting wage, gain skills and advance with us or move on to something else,” the spokesperson said. “The vast majority of our restaurant employees make above the federal minimum wage.”

Here is a break down of planned events in the Seattle area.

7 a.m. — A rally will be held at Westlake Park

8:30 a.m. — Protest outside Jimmy John’s at 1200 3rd Avenue

12 p.m. — Wendy’s at 5315 15th avenue Northwest in Ballard

4 p.m. — Rally in Plymouth Pillars Park at Pike and Boren Avenue.

12 comments

  • wayne

    here we go again! people,these are entry level jobs when new into the work force.we gained valuable experience in learning to arrive on time being dependable and learning money management. these jobs were never intended to support families and send your kids to college. if you are above 50 years old and have to depend on fast food for your sole income,give up! it's too late and you have wasted your life. dont expect fast food or any minium wage job to turn your life around.careers should be thought of in your early years while you are working these jobs.

  • Joe

    This is America now, horrible government schools where teachers always strike, wave signs kids come first, and now multitudes of Americans with no educational skills, then they clamor for foreign worker to take said skilled jobs. More hamburger flippers then Obama claims he fixed the economy while Delta, UPS and many other big employers are cutting back on health care because they can't afford Obama's socialized "Affordable Health Care Act".

    This soup line kitchen depression of low paid workers dropping out and faking disability in order to have free income for life.

  • Norman

    I wonder how many of these people picketing actually work in the Fast Food industry? How many are being paid to picket by some Union?

    Personally I doubt that there are many who would answer, honestly, that they do indeed work for some fast food chain…

    It would be nice it the reporters would ask them those questions..

  • Xuven

    You want better pay get a better job.. Fast food always has been an entry level job …Not A CAREER … There are people working in other jobs that are harder and more dangerous and with college degrees making less than $15 an hour….. But then that is the modern America …. Reward lack of motivation…. Just get big $$$$ for doing little go home to your TV and social media…and pay no attention as the government slowly takes away your rights……. Then one day when you leave your building and some guy in big boots goes "papers please" you can look around and say "what happened?"

  • jeff

    How much are the union bosses paying these individuals to protest? No doubt, minimum wage! Why work when you can get paid the same wage to do protest?

    • Xuven

      The unions get paid protesters..in Chehalis the union got paid protester to picket a store even though the store employes openly said that they were happy with their jobs and wanted nothing to do with the union… some of the employes sold news reporters that they got barley veiled threats if they did not support unionizing….. The unions commonly bully and use the threat of violence to try and force people who don't want the union in submission ..the same tactics that would send the owner of the business to jail the union gets a pass for.

  • Shane Williams

    *Always been an entry level job…* Nice parroting of propaganda. When I was a kid, Mel was a respectable guy on TV working in a diner. And you could make a living working at McDonald's. Not a great one, but a living nonetheless. Stop buying into the BS that padding their bottom line by reducing ours is ok. It's NOT ok. Even in today's economy, million dollar salaries are moronic. And they get those million dollar salaries by making you think that fast food has always been an entry level job. You sound as bad as the Obamacare proponents. Ill informed Zombies. And I happen to be a conservative.

  • StLCard

    This whole thing is being organized / supported by the SEIU. This is the same thug-ridden, racist organization who beat up Kenneth Gladney, a black protester who was picketing a campaign event for a candidate they supported. I'd be very wary of any cause or event associated with the SEIU!

  • Xuven

    The media is making this thing bigger than it is …. This is taking place in about 50 city's …. That is 1/4 of one percent of the city's in the US a super small minority…. The only way this is getting any press is there is some big $$$$ organization pushing it…

  • Slam1263

    I worked for minimum wage once, for 2 weeks.

    And I kept hitting the streets looking for a better paying job.

    $1.87 an hour stank.

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