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McDonald's Employees in 15 Different Cities Coordinated a Labor Strike for Higher Wages

Olowokandi Fiyin
May 20, 2021
08:30 A.M.
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McDonald's employees across 15 cities have embarked on a coordinated labor strike demanding an increase in their wages. They cited working during the pandemic as reasons for the strike.

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Several workers of one of the largest fast-food company McDonald's, are embarking on a labor strike, demanding better pay. According to reports, employees in 15 major cities across the nation came together to coordinate the strike.

Yesterday, a video shared on Twitter showed workers of the St. Louis branches protesting on the street, asking that hourly wages be increased to $15. Many wore matching red shirts with the words, "Fight for $15."

A photo of a McDonald's sign. | Photo: Pixabay

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Per Business Insider, the strike has been in motion since the beginning of the month. Employees reportedly planned to have the boycott on May 19, the day before the company's annual shareholder's meeting.

The cities involved in the protest include Orlando, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Oakland, Houston, Milwaukee, Sacramento, Tampa, Flint, and a demonstration set to hold outside McDonald's headquarters in Chicago.

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The workers demanding decent wages complained about the restaurant chain giving several benefits to attract workers rather than simply increasing their pay. Some branches reportedly offer a signing bonus and even pay people to interview.

Recently, McDonald's announced that the minimum hourly wages of its corporate-owned branches would be increased.

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However, none of the perks being offered has been able to help with the labor shortage. As for the motive for the strike, workers cited the company's huge revenue and being forced to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. An employee said:

"In the middle of a global pandemic, McDonald's made $5 billion and gave billions to its shareholders - all while workers like me risked our lives to keep stores running…."

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However, at the time, the fast-food chain insisted that the federal and local government was responsible for setting the minimum wage as they remained open to having the dialogue to make specific changes.

Recently, McDonald's announced that the minimum hourly wages of its corporate-owned branches would be increased to $11-$17 while that of shift managers would be between $15-$20 per hour.

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Unfortunately, employees of independently-owned branches won't benefit. The restaurant explained that by 2024, all workers in company-owned locations would average $15 per hour — affecting a measly 5% of its worldwide branches.

The disadvantaged workers aren't alone fighting for decent wages as Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are joining the protests. Sanders is set to make a speech about the strike in a live-streamed event.

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