UPDATE: Fast-food protests planned for 100 cities

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UPDATE: Fast-food workers in about 100 cities will walk off the job this Thursday, organizers say, which would mark the largest effort yet in a push for higher pay.

Rally Aug. 29th at Library Mall in Madison

UPDATED Monday, December 2, 2013 --- 10:24 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fast-food workers in about 100 cities will walk off the job this Thursday, organizers say, which would mark the largest effort yet in a push for higher pay.

The actions would build on a campaign that began about a year ago to call attention to the difficulties of living on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Protesters are calling for pay of $15 an hour, although many see the figure as a rallying point rather than a near-term possibility.

It's not clear what the actual turnout will be, or whether the walkouts will be enough to disrupt restaurant operations. Similar actions this summer had varying results, with some restaurants briefly unable to serve customers and others seemingly unaffected.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted: Wednesday 28, 2013 --- 7:00 p.m.

Madison --- Some are calling it the largest strike to hit the 200 billion dollar food industry. People all over the nation, and in Madison walking off the job to fight for more money.

It's going after big business across the nation, specifically the fast food industry, and the people running it.

"The reason for the walkout is to bring attention to the low wage, that fast food workers are being paid," said Rev. David Smith. He's a spokesperson for "Raise Up Wisconsin," and a supporter of the fast food walkout in Madison. He's also an advocate of raising the minimum wage to $15.00.

"We have fast food workers living out of their cars, people with Masters degrees working at Dunkin' Donuts, " said Rev. Smith.

"In the quick service industry, the majority of these folks are locally owned. They're not corporately owned. They're owned by local people who support local communities," said Susan Quam. She works for the "Wisconsin Restaurant Association," which represents nearly 15,000 in the badger state. She says the walkout will only hurt the industry, and the owners' bottom line.

"So they would have to do one of two things. Raise their prices significantly, or cut the number of employees and hours they have."

Whether it's raising the bar, or keeping the prices manageable. Both sides are working to have their voices heard.


UPDATED Thursday, August 29, 2013 --- 4:43 p.m.

"The story promoted by the individuals organizing these events does not provide an accurate picture of what it means to work at McDonald's. We respect the strong relationship which exists among McDonald's, our independent operators, and the employees who work in McDonald's restaurants. Our restaurants remain open, with our dedicated employees providing strong service to our customers. McDonald's aims to offer competitive pay and benefits to our employees. We provide training and professional development for all of those who wish to take advantage of those opportunities. Our history is full of examples of individuals who worked their first job with McDonald's and went on to successful careers both within and outside of McDonald's."

"We are proud to provide a place where thousands of people, who come to us asking for a job, can enter the workforce at a starting wage, gain skills and advance with us or move on to something else."


Posted Thursday, August 29, 2013 --- 10:56 a.m.

Note: Fast-food workers in Madison are expected to walk off their jobs, or are already demonstrating, in Madison today as well. We'll have more coverage on NBC15 News at 4, 5 and 6.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fast-food protests are under way in cities including New York, Chicago and Detroit, with organizers planning for the biggest walkouts yet in a push for higher wages.

Whether the actions will have any impact on business isn't clear.

In New York, about 300 to 400 protesters marched and flooded inside a McDonald's near the Empire State Building. Shortly after the demonstration, however, the restaurant seemed to be operating normally and a few customers said they hadn't heard of the movement. The same was true at a McDonald's a few blocks away.

Participating workers, who are asking for $15 an hour, still represent a tiny fraction of the industry.

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour was last raised in 2009.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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