NYC fast food workers strike for higher pay
from Bill Holmes:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that seven out of 10 growth occupations over the next decade will be low-wage fields. And these jobs are not being done by teenagers. Across the country, the median age of fast-food workers is over 28, and women — who make up two-thirds of the industry — are over 32, according to the BLS.
“For a lot of people it’s a second chance or even a last chance,” Shaiken said.
Fast food weathered the recession, and the biggest names are seeing big profits. Yum! Brands, which runs Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, saw profits up 45 percent over the last four fiscal years, and McDonald’s saw them up 130 percent. (After Walmart, Yum! Brands and McDonald’s are the second and third-largest low-wage employers in the nation.) Yet those profits are not being passed on to workers like Harris and Jantuah, who remain stuck at or barely above a stagnant minimum wage.
“The question about fast food is the same question that workers have been raising about Walmart. Both of these campaigns are a window onto the larger debate on to whether America is going to have a living wage economy in the 21st century or not,” Bernhardt said.