December 8, 2014
By Stephanie West
Washington DC – Two years after 200 New York City fast-food workers walked off their jobs, sparking a nationwide movement for $15 and union rights, cooks and cashiers at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and other major national chains went on strike Thursday December 4th in more than 190 cities.
Workers went on strike in every region of the country at major fast-food restaurants including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Taco Bell and Domino’s. The fast-food movement continued to spread, with workers walking off their jobs for the first time in Jackson, Miss., Knoxville, Tenn., Buffalo, N.Y., Olympia, Wash. and dozens of smaller cities and towns.
“Every day I look my kids in the face and they realize we live in poverty. They are the reason I fight,” said Terrence Wise, a 35-year-old father of three who is paid $9.30 an hour at Burger King in Kansas City, MO and is the subject of a major New York Times profile published Thursday. “It’s inspiring to see airport, home care and retail workers fighting for $15, too. This movement is larger than ever and we are going to keep standing up until we win.”
In Pittsburgh, the entire shift at a Wendy’s restaurant walked out, forcing the restaurant to close, and a downtown McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts locked their doors after workers went on strike. In San Diego, a McDonald’s closed its doors after workers went on strike. And in Boston, workers prepared for an afternoon vigil for Maria Fernandes, the Dunkin Donuts worker who died last summer while napping in a parking lot between shifts.
In Greensboro, N.C. the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, joined workers on the strike lines. “This battle for fair wages is as critical as the battle young people waged in the 1960s when they demanded a right to sit at lunch counters,” Rev. Barber said. “If we invest in living wages and pay $15 to fast-food workers, more money is going to go into the economy, more jobs are going to open up. It is a win for the entire country.”