WASHINGTON, D.C. – All around the country, thousands of workers at fast food restaurants walked out of their places of employment Friday in a protest called “Fight for 15.”
Workers, who seem to have organized joint protests around the country, are striking from their minimum wage jobs to protest the low rate of pay. They are asking that wages be raised to $15 per hour from the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 because many of them can’t make ends meet on the current rate of pay.
This strike has been met with public outcry, both for and against the proposed wage increase. Workers say they just want to be paid what they are worth, with the workload and invested time. Opponents are frequently saying that if these workers want better pay, they need to find better jobs because fast food work is “not meant to be a permanent position unless you’re a manager,” according to one online commenter.
However, fast food work is not merely for those in transition or those who lack education anymore. Meghan ford, a 22 year-old who works at Dunkin’ Donuts, has a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in sociology and more than $20,000 in student loans to pay off. Because she is unable to find work with her degree, she is forced to work fast food for $8.25 an hour. She reported that 90 percent of her check goes toward rent in the home she shares with her roommates and she is left with enough to eat one meal a day. She is able to save nothing for her dream of moving to Chicago. Reports of similar stories can be found all over the internet.
Fast food workers in more than 50 cities, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Milwaukee and Indianapolis, either didn’t show up for their shifts or simply walked out in protest, according to local organizers and the Service Employees International Union, which has been advising strikers around the country.