RAL Fast Food Workers to Strike, Intensify Fight for $15 and Union

Media Advisory for Thursday, September 4, 2014

Local Media Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, jeremy@aflcionc.org336-255-2711

National Media Contact: Laura Brandon, laura.brandon@berlinrosen.com202-641-8477


Local McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s Workers Among Those in 150+ Cities Expected To Walk Off Their Jobs

RALEIGH/DURHAM– Coming off a convention at which they vowed to do “whatever it takes” to win $15 and the right to form a union, Triangle fast-food workers will walk off their jobs Thursday as their movement intensifies and continues to spread.

Workers are expected to strike at Raleigh and Durham’s major fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters, including Reverend Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP will join fast-food workers on the strike lines. Striking fast food workers from across North Carolina will converge in Durham for a fast food worker rally and action.

WHO: Workers at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King; Community Supporters and Clergy including Reverend Barber, President of NC NAACP

WHAT: Fast-Food Worker Strike

WHERE: 3301 S Wilmington St, Raleigh

WHEN: Thursday, September 4 at 8:30 am ET

WHERE: 501 Foster Street, Durham

WHEN: Thursday, September 4 at 11:45 am ET

Thursday’s strike comes a little more than a month after the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel determined that, despite McDonald’s repeated claims, the company is a joint employer that exerts substantial power over its employees’ working conditions. For nearly two years, McDonald’s and other fast-food workers have been joining together and going on strike, calling for $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation. But time and time again, the company and other industry players have tried to sidestep workers’ calls, inventing a make-believe world in which responsibility for wages and working conditions falls squarely only on the shoulders of franchisees, not the corporations that control how food is served and priced.

As corporations push down real wages for average American workers, a growing number of economists warn that low wages are a barrier to growth that are harming the overall U.S. economy.

A campaign that started in New York City in November 2012, with 200 fast-food workers walking off their jobs demanding $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation, has since spread to more than 150 cities in every region of the country, including the South. The growing fight for $15 has been credited with elevating the debate around inequality in the U.S. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said that it has “entirely changed the politics of the country.” Since the campaign launched, nearly 7 million low-wage workers have seen their wages rise. What seemed like a far-fetched goal–$15 an hour—is now a reality in Seattle, where Bloomberg News said the city adopted “the rallying cry of fast-food workers.”

As it spreads, the movement is challenging fast-food companies’ outdated notion that their workers are teenagers looking for pocket change. Today’s workers are mothers and fathers struggling to raise children on wages that are too low. And they’re showing the industry that if it doesn’t raise pay, it will continue to be at the center of the national debate on what’s wrong with our economy.