Demonstrators supporting fast food workers protest outside a McDonald’s, July 29, 2013, in New York’s Union Square. (Credit: AP/John Minchillo)
Fast food workers in the Los Angeles area launched a strike last month as part of a nationwide attempt to raise their salaries to $15 per hour and form a union. Workers at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, El Pollo Loco and Jack in the Box participated in the strike, part of what organizers are calling the largest strike against the industry. The first of the L.A. strikes was at a Burger King on West Century Boulevard in South Los Angeles.
Dozens of workers, many carrying signs, marched outside the eatery starting 6 a.m. on August 29. Workers in more than 50 cities in every region of the continental United States also planned to strike, according to organizers, who include SEIU United Service Workers West. Organizers claim fast food workers “are forced to rely on public assistance just to make ends meet.”
The claim was rejected by McDonald’s, which released a statement saying “the story promoted by the individuals organizing these events does not provide an accurate picture of what it means to work at McDonald’s.”
“We respect the strong relationship which exists among McDonald’s, our independent operators and the employees who work in McDonald’s restaurants. Our restaurants remain open, with our dedicated employees providing strong service to our customers,” the statement said.
“McDonald’s aims to offer competitive pay and benefits to our employees. We provide training and professional development for all of those who wish to take advantage of those opportunities. Our history is full of examples of individuals who worked their first job with McDonald’s and went on to successful careers both within and outside of McDonald’s.”
The strike follows one-day walkouts by fast food workers in eight cities, including New York City, Chicago and Washington, earlier this year.