Orlando Fast-Food Workers to Hold First-Ever Strike, Demanding $15 an Hour and the Right to Form a Union Without RetaliationLocal Fast-Food Workers Join Movement that has now gone global; Strikes in 150 US cities, protests in nearly three-dozen countriesFor the Fast-Food Industry
the issue that just won’t go away’—USA TodayORLANDO— Calling for $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food workers in Orlando will walk off their jobs for the first time ever Thursday as part of a wave of strikes and protests in 150 cities across the US and 33 additional countries on six continents.Workers in Orlando are calling for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. They are expected to strike at Orlando’s major fast-food restaurants. Clergy, elected officials, and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines.WHO: Workers at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and more, Community members, Clergy, Elected officials including Congressman Alan GraysonWHAT: Workers walk off jobs in call for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without interference from employersWHEN: Thursday, May 15 at NoonIn the US, strikes are expected in cities from Oakland to Raleigh [or Los Angeles to Boston], including the first-ever walkouts in Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando, Philadelphia and Sacramento, as the campaign for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation grows. Around the world, workers are planning major protests in at least 33 countries, spanning 80 cities, including in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Malawi, Morocco, New Zealand, Panama, and the United Kingdom.Background:A campaign that started in New York City in November 2012, with 200 fast-food workers walking off their jobs demanding $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation, has since spread to more than 150 cities in every region of the country, including the South—and now around the world. The growing fight for $15 has been credited with elevating the debate around inequality in the U.S. When Seattle's mayor proposed a $15 minimum wage earlier this month, Businessweek said he was “adopting the rallying cry of fast-food workers.”As it spreads, the movement is challenging fast-food companies’ outdated notion that their workers are teenagers looking for pocket change. Today’s workers are mothers and fathers struggling to raise children on wages that are too low. And they’re showing the industry that if it doesn’t raise pay, it will continue to be at the center of the national debate on what’s wrong with our economy.Earlier this year, workers in three states filed class-action suits against McDonald’s alleging widespread and systematic wage theft. And in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, McDonald’s said worker protests might force it to raise wages this year. With shareholder meeting season upon us, and a recent report showing the industry has by far the largest disparity between worker and CEO pay, scrutiny on fast-food companies is bound to intensify. USA Today called the growing worker movement, “the issue that just won’t go away” for the fast-food industry.