Last week, workers from fast food chains staged protests all across New York fighting for better wages, marking the largest such demonstrations by fast food workers across the country. The protests were only the beginning of the struggle, though: last night Times Square was filled with more protesters demanding a living wage for fast food workers.
Observers noted on Twitter last night that the protests were much larger than the protests in Times Square last Thursday. Organized by Fast Food Forward, which has been planning these strikes since early 2012, the protests are hoping to raise wages at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy's and other fast food establishments.
With the average fast food employee salary amounting to about $11,000 a year, the majority of these workers are struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Many are subsidizing their earnings with public assistance despite working full time. What the Times calls "The biggest wave of job actions in the history of America’s fast-food industry," hopes to create a union for these workers and raise wages to at least $15 an hour.
So far their efforts have been endorsed by multiple union leaders, including Mary Kay Henry, the president of SEIU (the Service Employees International Union) and John Fleming, the president of the Detective Investigator's Association. Fast Food Forward is hopeful that their creative organizing tactics may actually inspire some change in the industry.