Working people across Wisconsin applaud the spirit and the courage of the fast food workers in 150 cities who are walking off the job today demanding fair wages and the right to form a union without retaliation.As if paying the workers such obscenely low wages, places like McDonald's have been caught systematically stealing from the little bit they do pay their workers.
“Working families throughout Wisconsin stand in solidarity with the striking fast food workers who struggle to support their families every day. No one should work full time but live in poverty. Fast food executives who rake in multimillion dollar salaries should pay their workers a fair wage,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin state AFL-CIO.
Today’s strike, which features actions across America and six continents, is the first global day of action. Workers in countries like Denmark, Argentina and Japan are walking off the job in solidarity with their counterparts in America. In the U.S., strikes are taking place in more cities than ever before, including first time locations in Philadelphia, Sacramento, Miami and Orlando. In Wisconsin, workers are taking action in Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau.
“Politicians in Washington D.C. and in Madison can help solve this problem by raising the minimum wage for all workers and indexing it to inflation,” added Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “Fast food workers deserve to be treated fairly at work and so does every person who goes to work every day and sacrifices to support themselves and their families.
What really cracks me up is when some right wing nut job - y'know, the kind that is always mewling about how their taxes are too high - start complaining about the extra seven cents it would add to the price of a Big Mac to increase the workers' pay to a living wage. I just like to ask them if they can't afford the seven cents, how can they afford the $7 billion in public assistance the low wages are costing us.
And for those that might believe that paying a fast food worker a living wage would kill jobs or ruin the economy, ask them why Denmark hasn't fallen into the sea yet:
I work for McDonald’s and I make $21 an hour.It's embarrassing how much abuse we have accepted and for how long we've been accepting it. I hope to see many more actions like we saw today. Things need to change and the only way that will happen is if we make it happen.
No, that isn’t a typo. It’s really my salary.
You see, I work for McDonald’s in Denmark, where an agreement between our union and the company guarantees that workers older than 18 are paid at least $21 an hour. Employees younger than 18 make at least $15 — meaning teenagers working at McDonald’s in Denmark make more than two times what many adults in America earn working at the Golden Arches.
To anyone who says that fast-food jobs can’t be good jobs, I would answer that mine isn’t bad. In fact, parts of it are just fine. Under our union’s agreement with McDonald’s, for example, I receive paid sick leave that workers are still fighting for in many parts of the world. We also get overtime pay, guaranteed hours and at least two days off a week, unlike workers in most countries. At least 10 percent of the staff in any given restaurant must work at least 30 hours a week.