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KFC, McDonald's workers strike

new york protesters fast food forward national restaurant assc. unions

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#1 Hum

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 17:12

Naquasia LeGrand, who gets paid $7.70 an hour at a KFC in Brooklyn, N.Y., recently got her full-time hours cut by more than a third. She said the reduced pay isn't enough to pay her bills.

LeGrand is joining fast food workers across New York City on Thursday in protest. Organizers are expecting workers at 70 of the city's McDonald's (MCD, Fortune 500), Wendy's (WEN), Burger King (BKW) and Yum Brand (YUM, Fortune 500)s-owned Pizza Hut and KFC locations to join. The protests were organized by a coalition of labor, community and clergy groups called Fast Food Forward.

Dozens of workers walked off work Thursday morning at a McDonald's location near Times Square, according to Jonathan Westin, executive director of New York Communities for Change, one of the main sponsors of the protest. He said that a Burger King on Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn had trouble opening on time in the morning because so many of its workers had walked off.

A Burger King spokesman confirmed the restaurant opened 15 minutes late. :o

The group is asking employers to pay workers a minimum of $15 an hour, and for the right to organize without retaliation and intimidation. Currently, the median pay for the nearly 50,000 fast food workers in New York City is $9 an hour, or $18,500 a year, according to the New York Labor Department. That's about $4,500 lower than Census Bureau's poverty income threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

LeGrand, 21, said she lives with her grandmother, aunt and cousin because she can't afford her own place.

"I have to decide whether to get a MetroCard or eat," she said.

This is not the first time LeGrand is protesting.

In November, she joined 50 fast food workers in Manhattan, who walked off their shifts calling for similar rights.

Shortly after, LeGrand got a 20 cent raise, but her hours were cut to 24 from 38 per week. Within five months, she was working only 11.5 hours.

"My manager said she was hiring new workers and that's why my hours were cut," she said. She believes it had to do with her participating in the November protests.

KFC spokesman Rick Maynard that its restaurants in the area are franchise-owned.

Burger King and McDonald's wouldn't comment specifically on the strikes, saying that the majority of their restaurants are franchise-owned.

"Employees are paid competitive wages and have access to a range of benefits," a McDonald's spokeswoman said.

Some experts said that raising wages would be a burden for the franchisees, most of whom are small business owners.

"Any additional labor cost can negatively impact a restaurant's ability to hire or maintain jobs," said Scott DeFife, executive vice president of policy and government affairs at the National Restaurant Association.

Under the National Labor Relations Act, workers are protected from retaliation as long as they work in concert with at least one other employee to try to change their working conditions. However, they can be permanently replaced if they strike for purely economic reasons.

The protest organizer Westin said that more workers were participating Thursday, because the November protests raised awareness of their labor rights.

"The protestors in November showed that workers were able to look their managers in their faces and say they deserve better," he said. "Other workers were emboldened and the numbers are continuing to grow."

The walk outs were scheduled to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot in Memphis on April 4, one day after he delivered his famous "I've been to the mountaintop" speech in support of striking sanitation workers.

"To think that in 2013 we're having the same discussion about gaining a respectable wage and the right to organize as we had in 1968 is ludicrous," said Minister Kirsten John Foy, a civil rights activist at the National Action Network in Brooklyn who is participating in the protests.

Labor experts say there have been scattered attempts to organize over the last several decades, but very little in the fast food industry has stuck. Many say that's because there is a high turnover rate of labor in the industry.

source


#2 OP Hum

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 18:55

^ There may not be a 'better' job available to her these days.

And fast food places need older adults to fill in for the flakey teens. ;)

#3 Dane

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 19:37

^ There may not be a 'better' job available to her these days.

And fast food places need older adults to fill in for the flakey teens. ;)


Still doesn't solve their entitlement

#4 Javik

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 19:43

It's ironic really, so many of the right wing hardcore corporatist types blather on and on about hard work like it's the holy grail of life, yet when those that do the hard work ask for fairer treatment they act as if it's evil

:rofl:

#5 majortom1981

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 19:46

Since they are striking for purely economic reasons they can be replaced. I sure hope these striking non union employees can gamble away their jobs. I am sure these restaurants can replace the workers easily.

#6 vetneufuse

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 19:48

$7.70 an hour? sheesh I thought a lot of these places paid more then min wage... around us McDonalds pays $11.20 an hour starting! and our median income in this town is $26,500! maybe our franchise owners around here care more about having and keeping good workers as opposed to constant churn... I don't think a single high school kid works at any of our 4 McDonalds, I've never seen someone that looks under 18... most of the workers are probably in their 30's+!

#7 wahoospa

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 19:48

Education will get better paying jobs, what does someone expect from a fast food place?

#8 LUTZIFER

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 19:50

Maybe Naquasia LeGrand should quit having a teenagers job if she wants to live as an adult.

Everyone knows fast food doesn't pay well, and never will, thats why mostly students take these jobs after and before class, and eventually plan on getting a real job.
And no she isn't or wont be fired for protesting. She should be fired of walking off and leaving her job.

Kinda sick of everyone in today's society thinking they're some sort of a victim and owed something..

Well put. Exactly how I've always thought of Fast Food establishments as well.
They're supposed to be for teens to earn some cash while doing their schooling, etc. etc. and prepare them for the real world, not make a career out of it.

#9 majortom1981

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 19:51

$7.70 an hour? sheesh I thought a lot of these places paid more then min wage... around us McDonalds pays $11.20 an hour starting! and our median income in this town is $26,500! maybe our franchise owners around here care more about having and keeping good workers as opposed to constant churn... I don't think a single high school kid works at any of our 4 McDonalds, I've never seen someone that looks under 18... most of the workers are probably in their 30's+!


The problem with this strike is its for nothing. just this week minimum wage was raised to $9 an hour in ny state.

#10 LUTZIFER

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 19:53

$7.70 an hour? sheesh I thought a lot of these places paid more then min wage... around us McDonalds pays $11.20 an hour starting! and our median income in this town is $26,500! maybe our franchise owners around here care more about having and keeping good workers as opposed to constant churn... I don't think a single high school kid works at any of our 4 McDonalds, I've never seen someone that looks under 18... most of the workers are probably in their 30's+!

Holy crap, I'd kill myself if I hit 30 and was still working at McDonalds.

#11 trag3dy

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 19:54

$15 an hour to work at McDonalds? :rofl:

#12 spacer

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 20:07

I wonder how many of these minimum wage, fast-food workers have 1+ kids or live in an expensive area? There is a huge difference between being underpaid and living outside of your means.

#13 matt4pack

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 20:15

Holy crap, I'd kill myself if I hit 30 and was still working at McDonalds.


But I'm sure you like having your garbage picked up, sewage services, and everything else that's needed in a modern society that's being performed by people in undesirable jobs that you think are beneath you. If everybody in those positions just killed themselves I'd like to see you try to survive.

#14 LUTZIFER

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 20:19

But I'm sure you like having your garbage picked up, sewage services, and everything else that does along with a modern society that's being performed by people in undesirable jobs that you think are beneath you.

Yeah true. It is sad that some people, even myself, do think that way. Even my dad was really bad that way, thinking people that made less money were skids, but we do need those services.

#15 majortom1981

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 21:00

But I'm sure you like having your garbage picked up, sewage services, and everything else that's needed in a modern society that's being performed by people in undesirable jobs that you think are beneath you. If everybody in those positions just killed themselves I'd like to see you try to survive.


Working as a garbage man or sewage services are still kind of skilled jobs. you get benefits and health care by doing them.