Clarion Call Rings Throughout Nation: 'Low Pay Is Not OK'

August 29, 2013 | | Common Dreams |

Fast food workers in over 50 cities across the nation are striking on Thursday in what organizers are touting as the largest ever strike to hit the industry.

The workers are demanding $15 an hour and the right to unionize, continuing the calls and momentum of a series of strikes that first started in November of 2012.

Federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, but, as the Economic Policy Institute has pointed out, "if the minimum wage had kept up with productivity growth [since 1968], it would now be $18.67 per hour."

In addition to fast food workers, workers at major retail chains including Macy’s, Sears, Victoria’s Secret and Walgreens are expected to take part in the strike as well. [...]

Highlighting the inequality further, Catherine Ruetschlin and Amy Traub of the public policy organization Demos write on Thursday:

Right now, fast food companies keep employees at poverty-level wages while reaping billions of dollars in profits for their shareholders every year. Across the economy this practice drives increasing inequality, slow growth, and declining living standards. It is holding back our economic recovery and contributing to our high poverty rates and rates of working poor. Americans deserve better. The fast food workers’ movement shows that there is a broad demand for change—one that is only getting stronger.