On April 15th 2015, minimum wage workers across America will participate in a nationwide strike, asking fellow Americans to support their efforts in challenging congress to increase the federal minimum to $15/hr.
The organizers of this group are calling it the “Fight For 15,” and the strike will include fast food employees, retail employees, childcare workers, home care providers, and airport workers. The strike is expected to include employees from Wal-Mart and McDonalds, which in itself will make a huge statement, as these are very popular businesses. The rallies will take place in a few U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and as many as 60,000 people are expected to participate in around 200 locations. Apparently the movement is growing beyond American borders and workers from Italy will also be participating.
Popular retail stores such as Target and Wal-Mart have already increased their minimum wage to $10 which, while an improvement, is still very short of a more realistic $15 per hour. On average McDonalds pays their employees $9 per hour, which even they recognize is not enough to live on. More than half of McDonalds employees are also on some kind of government assistance.
Many McDonalds workers participated in a similar strike last December. McDonalds employee Jemere Calhoun said in an interview with ATTN:
“It’s very hard to live on this salary. You pretty much know that you start in the red. As soon as I get my check, I already know that it’s not enough. So I have to take care of what’s the most pressing matter at that time and then think of ways to fill that financial void.”
McDonald’s Suggestion To Employees Struggling To Get By?
Go on food stamps. This is actually considered a solution to the multi-billion dollar corporation that is McDonalds. Funny thing is, McDonalds even knows that their employees cannot survive off the minimum wage.
It should be an interesting day in the United States of America on April 15th. Many fast food restaurants, retail shops, and even convenience stores will be closed down. That is sure to attract some much-needed attention to this important issue. We can only hope that this will be enough of a statement to induce these huge corporations reconsider their bare minimum wage!
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