Phoenix Fast-Food Workers Joining Nationwide Strike Today

Categories: Restaurant News

Flickr via mtume_soul
Fast food strikes, NYC, July 2013.
Today, organizers say fast-food workers in Phoenix are expected to walk off their jobs in what's expected to be the largest-ever strike to hit the $200 billion industry, spanning 50 cities and every region of the continental United States.

See also: New Starbucks Opens Next to Urban Beans in Phoenix; State Senator Katie Hobbs Calls for a Flash Mob Today to Protest

The Associated Press writes:

"Thursday's planned walkouts follow a series of strikes that began last November in New York City, then spread to cities including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. Workers say they want $15 an hour, which would be about $31,000 a year for full-time employees. That's more than double the federal minimum wage, which many fast food workers make, of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year."

The Phoenix workers, walking off their jobs for the first time, in addition to calling for $15 an hour, also want the right to form a union without retaliation or unfair labor practices.

A press release from the Phoenix-based organization LUCHA, Living United for Change in Arizona, states that local clergy, elected officials, and community supporters will join fast-food workers -- from places such as Del Taco, Taco Bell, Church's Chicken, Burger King, Wendy's, IHOP, and Panda Express -- on the strike lines, with a protest being held at 10:15 a.m. this morning at the Southeast corner of 7th Avenue and Van Buren.

LUCHA goes on to say that, "an adult with one child needs to make $19.80 an hour working full time in the Phoenix area just to afford the basics, according to a model developed by a professor at MIT."

Earlier today, Reuters reported that, according to organizers, "strikes spread quickly across the country and have shut down restaurants in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Raleigh and Seattle."

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Christian Parrinello
Christian Parrinello

What's a little bit heartbreaking about all this is that these people believe that they're rebelling against a giant multinational. In actuality, they're rebelling against their franchisee, who almost certainly has no ability to pay them $15 an hour. What's more, their labor is incredibly unskilled. People are trained in an insanely fast amount of time, and you don't have to be especially bright or crafty to do the job. Turnover is high enough as it is; people are expected to quit. The people striking have the most to lose, so it's unfortunate that they were talked into something like this.


If Americans really believed in the free market system the way they claim they do, they would not object to any person or group lobbying for increased wages.  Why? Because in real free market economies everything is competitive---even wages. We don't have a real free market economy because wages are somewhat regulated by the government and by employers which/who keep wages artificially low in order to boost profits. This would not be the case in a real free market economy where employers would have to compete for workers' job skills in every enterprise just as they compete for other resources. Many Americans don't consider workers a resource, but they are. They are a very important resource without which many businesses would come to a 

standstill, so those who believe that workers should take whatever salary the companies/businesses offer don't understand the basics of free market economies.


If you want to make $19.80/hr then you need more skills than flipping burgers.

If you are unskilled, don't have a child that you can't afford.

Raise minimum wage to $15/hr and watch millions more jobs get automated away.  Then instead of making $8/hr you'll be making $0/hr.

fishingblues topcommenter

In a capitalist economy (that is what we have in the US - this for all the brain-dead nimrods that believe they are owed something) there is a thing called supply and demand.  People are paid what they are worth and not what they either think they are worth or think what they should get.  If you want a higher paying job - EARN IT!


When I had 2 stents placed in the lad artery of my heart, after the procedure I was made to watch dvds about after care. Every fast food joint u can think of was mentioned as a purveyor of poison. If you looked at the beef product they sling in the grocery store, you would not buy it. peace


Strike without a union? I predict a LOT of minimum wage jobs opening up real quicky-like.

ExpertShot topcommenter

In 1963, the minimum wage was about $2.00 an hour.  Accounting for inflation, that $2.00 is worth $15.00 now.  So, who did the investigation for this story again? 

Stephen Frei
Stephen Frei

let them strike....let them close every mc d, jack in the bag, and taco bell in town.........we can refill the buildings with juice bats and healthy fast food joints! I am all in!

Luka Bleu
Luka Bleu

At least no one will be served poison today... lol

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@marcy  another thing that eludes a lot of people is that if you raise minimum wage, businesses raise their prices also so they can maintain a profit margin once their overhead goes up. so the 15/hr wont go as far as they think it will

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