East Bay’s Fast-Food Workers Walk Out
Got lunch plans today? Avoid the usual fast-food spots, at least in the East Bay.
Hundreds of workers at 37 restaurants — including McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Burger King — are on a one-day strike. A series of protests today in Oakland is calling for an increase in fast-food workers’ minimum hourly wage to $15, improved benefits and the right to form unions.
The strike affects 10 Bay Area cities: Richmond, Emeryville, Berkeley, Oakland, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, Union City and Alameda.
The rolling one-day strike movement is a national effort that began in November 2012, when the New York group Fast Food Forward and others organized a walkout. Today, workers in about 60 cities are expected to walk out.
Fast-food jobs have historically been dominated by teens and youth, but protest organizers and the Center for Economic and Policy Research point out that today they’re more likely to employ family breadwinners. The California Restaurant Association told the Bay Area News Group that raising wages to the $15-per-hour minimum would drive up the cost of food by a third, which would likely affect sales and result in layoffs.