Fast-food workers in 33 countries are planning a walkout on May 15, demanding better pay and better working conditions. The action, coordinated by Fast Food Forward, will target McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC. McDonald's -- which settled a $1B class-action suit over wage-theft from its American workforce in March -- has issued a shareholder warning about the possibility of having to pay a living wage to its workers. Women, especially single mothers, are disproportionately likely to work in sub-living-wage jobs in the fast food industry.
Strikes are planned for May 15 across five continents in countries including Morocco, Japan, India, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, Argentina and New Zealand, where workers will stage a protest at the McDonald’s headquarters in Auckland, according to a statement by activist group Fast Food Forward. Other strikes will target Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC.
The actions were announced Wednesday in Manhattan, New York, at a meeting during which fast-food workers and union leaders detailed how they intended to expand a movement that began with a walkout in November 2012. On that occasion, some 200 workers went on strike in New York City, demanding a pay increase of $15 per hour and the right to unionize without retaliation.
Since then, thousands have followed, organizing protests in more than 100 cities across the U.S., where workers’ demand to earn a ‘living’ wage in an economy that increasingly relies on low-income jobs has become a national rallying cry.
Fast-food workers announce global protest, walkouts set for 33 countries [Lisa De Bode/Al Jazeera]