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Fast food workers protest in New York City

Demand for higher wages

Thursday, April 4, 2013
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Demonstrators holds a sign and chant slogans outside of a Wendy's fast food restaurant, Thursday, April 4, 2013 in New York. New York City fast food workers plan a second job action day to press for higher wages. Organizers say hundreds of workers plan to demonstrate Thursday at dozens of fast food establishments, including McDonald's, Domino's, Wendy's and Pizza Hut. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Demonstrators holds a sign and chant slogans outside of a Wendy's fast food restaurant, Thursday, April 4, 2013 in New York. New York City fast food workers plan a second job action day to press for higher wages. Organizers say hundreds of workers plan to demonstrate Thursday at dozens of fast food establishments, including McDonald's, Domino's, Wendy's and Pizza Hut. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

— Hundreds of fast food workers and supporters protested outside New York City restaurants today to demand higher wages for their low-paying jobs, including about 60 who chanted “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Minimum wage has got to go!” at a midtown Wendy’s

Linda Archer said she has worked at a nearby McDonald’s for three years and makes $8 an hour. The protesters want fast food restaurants to pay $15 per hour, almost double the current statewide average pay of $8.25 per hour.

“I’m asking for respect, I’m asking for $15, I’m asking for a union, I’m asking for job security,” she said. McDonald’s said in a statement that it values and respects all the employees who work at its restaurants.

New York’s minimum wage is $7.25 but the state Legislature last month voted to raise it to $9 by 2016.

The day of picket lines organized by a coalition of unions and community groups followed a similar job action last November. Organizers said they expected hundreds of workers to demonstrate Thursday at dozens of fast food establishments, including McDonald’s, Domino’s, Wendy’s and Pizza Hut.

Fast food workers deserve union representation, said Richard Trumka, national president of the AFL-CIO, who stopped by the Wendy’s protest.

“They’re being mistreated, they’re being underpaid, they’re going to stand together until they get fair treatment and we’re going to stand with them,” Trumka said.

Shahnaz Perveen ate her lunch inside Wendy’s while protesters marched outside but said she supported the workers’ demands. “They work really hard,” she said.

Thursday’s action also commemorated the assassination 45 years ago of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, where he was supporting a strike by sanitation workers.

Several pickets wore signs that said “I am a man” or “I am a woman,” echoing placards carried in Memphis in 1968.

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comments

April 4, 2013
3:17 p.m.
frankjr says...

These people are paid $8 because that's all they're worth. Any high school kid can do their job and would be happy to be making $8 an hour.

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