There is a fast food strike happening all over the United States as I write this article. Although fast food is rarely encouraged by a person who supports nutrition, it is inevitable that parents will eventually give in to a moment of providing fast food to their family. Fast food companies are not subjected to McDonalds and Burger King. Fast food restaurants include Chiles, Subway, The Habit Burger, Starbucks, all pizza joints, all cheese steak restaurants, all Chinese food take out, Applebee's, Denny's, On the Border Mexican Grill and all places you will eat that you can purchase food prepared for you. All of the above can be considered, "fast food" and should be considered fast food. If you are not preparing the food at home, then you are contributing to the wages of all those workers cooking for you and serving you daily.
The fast food industry has been struggling to provide our kids with nutritional meals. McDonalds provides a website with nutritional facts. I appreciate the fact that McDonalds attempts to provide the public with healthier options. Many fast food restaurants have followed in their foot steps.
Clearly parents have little time to provide home cooked meals for their children and most parents will use a fast food restaurant as an option for meals. Most parents are exhausted from having to work one or two jobs to support their families and have little time to cook meals at home.
If the fast food industry is going to provide our meals and hopefully healthier meals, they should also provide better wages for their employees.
In all honesty, I prefer to rely on home cooked meals for my family, and to be even more honest, there are moments I rely on the fast food industry.
There has to be a balance we can all live with in order to survive the ever changing economy. Providing better wages will provide better personal nutrition for the workers of the fast food industry and then a trip to a fast food restaurant becomes a treat not a necessity. Poverty provides only the groceries that a family can afford, which is not always packed with nutrition. Nutrition is essential in raising healthy minded kids with strong healthy bodies.
According to Salon online yesterday: "Today, the strikes – which started with a single-city November work stoppage in New York — are expected to hit several cities. In each city – from Los Angeles to Peoria – workers are demanding a raise to $15 an hour, and the chance to form a union without intimidation by their boss."
On August 28, 2013, the Chicago Tribune reported: "Unless we can figure out how to make highly profitable companies pay a fair wage to their workers, we're just going to watch them pull all the blood, sweat, tears and money out of our communities." The National Restaurant Association, the trade group for U.S. restaurants and fast-food chains, said in a statement that the restaurant industry provides 13 million Americans with jobs and that discussions about wages "should be based on facts." "Only five percent of restaurant employees earn the minimum wage and those that do are predominantly working part-time and half are teenagers," said Scott DeFife, the organization's executive vice president of policy and government affairs."
I am not sure where the National Restaurant Association acquired their facts, I am sure their are far more full time adult workers with families working in the fast food industry than they are reporting. Yahoo news reported yesterday: "They make millions that come from our feet. They can afford to pay us better," Shaniqua Davis, 20, told AFP at a demonstration outside a McDonald's on New York's posh Fifth Avenue. Davis has a one-year-old child and works at a branch of the restaurant in the Bronx where she earns $7.25 an hour. "I have bills to pay. I need to buy diapers. I can hardly buy food. I am treated good but we need more money. She said if it wasn't for food stamps and help she received to pay her rent "I would already be on the street."
I wonder what the laws dictate for fast food restaurants and retail chains. Do fast food chains hire part time employees only, to avoid paying any benefits to employees? Our government continues to provide money for food stamps and health care because employers will not be accountable in providing good wages and longer hours for dedicated people. I agree with Shaniqua Davis, the fast food industry can afford to pay better wages. Good for her in speaking out on the topic.
Are we really listening to the public's need for a better wage? Reuters reports: "Rallies were held in cities from New York to Oakland and stretched into the South, historically difficult territory for organized labor. The striking workers say they want to unionize without retaliation in order to collectively bargain for a "living wage." A living wage is all they are asking for and I hope these workers will receive a living wage that will provide for their normal living expenses.
MSNBC reported: "Fast food workers staged a nationwide strike across dozens of American cities on Thursday morning, demanding a $15 per hour wage and the right to form a union. The strike, which is believed to be the largest in the industry’s history, included work stoppages in regions of the country which had never seen concentrated fast food labor activism before. Roughly 50 cities are affected by the strikes. Cities that have struck before and are striking again include New York, Chicago, St.Louis, Seattle, and Detroit. But far more cities are experiencing their first strike ever, including cities from Hartford, Conn., to Dallas, Texas, and Berkeley, Calif."
Today the majority of people are living paycheck to paycheck. Rents in San Jose and the surrounding Bay Area are outrageous. All companies must be accountable for providing excellent salaries to all employees according to where they are working and living. People are providing for themselves and their families. If the fast food industry will not provide a decent wage, then they are not supporting the people of the United States. It is a shameful position to acquire when these corporations make millions of dollars and continue to minimize their responsibilities to the work force that continues to keep our economy going.
Encourage the fast food industry to super size their responsibilities for dedicated workers.
Eat well, live well, be responsible for yourself and your family.