News sources on Thursday reported that fast food workers in numerous cities across the nation are planning walkouts today, focusing the publics attention on the need for higher wages in an industry known for low paying jobs.
The organizers of the event say this strike should be the largest ever, surpassing the one-day strike during the Sumner that involved about 2,000 fast food workers in seven cities.
There are more than a million fast food workers in this country, and most workers are making minimum wage, or $7.25 an hour. The planned strike today is a follow-up to a series of walkouts that began last November in New York City.
The strikes moved to several large cities across the country, such as Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. Organizers are hoping today's strike will hit heavily in the south, targeting McDonald's, Taco Bell and Wendy's.
Franchise owners had all this past week to adjust employee shifts to cover the walkout today, and that will work against the strikers. Also not in the workers favor is the public's not being fully aware of what is going on with the minimum wage issue in this country.
The last time the federal minimum wage was raised was in 2009. There is legislation concerning an increase in the minimum wage going through congress, and President Barack Obama has already made clear he would like the minimum wage raised to $9.00 an hour. As it stands now, nothing has been done.
Traditionally, the "McJob" has always been low-paying, and often considered as a first-job for many teenagers. The National Restaurant Association says there is a lot more to the issue of raising wages in the fast food industry than meets the eye, and it doesn't take much looking to see what the problem would be.
The group points out that McJobs are usually entry-level, and require little experience. Doubling the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour would play havoc with job creation, and customers would be hit with higher prices on food items. As it is, the industry is already trying to deal with rising food costs.
Also facing all these different franchises is the healthcare insurance problem. What it boils down to is a simple fact, someone is going to end up paying more for that hamburger and fries.