Fast-Food Workers Walk Off Job In Protests Over Low Wages

Source: MarketWatch / CBS News

Fast-food workers in a number of locations across seven cities plan to walk off the job today in protests over low wages. The employees, many of whom are paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, are demanding $15 an hour, while many say they also want union representation.

The planned strikes are taking place in Chicago, Detroit, Flint, Mich., Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, New York and St. Louis at various Burger King, Domino’s, KFC, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s franchises. Although some data show that consumers are increasingly confident about the economy, a large class of workers are on the edge, receiving low pay and no benefits.

Although the labor unrest has to date has remained fairly small in scale, some experts think it has the potential to grow much larger. When people become desperate, they may see little risk in taking action. For strikers, the goal is to pressure companies that have ridden low wages to new heights of profitability to reconsider their business models.

Companies have two basic ways of increase their profits to shareholders: grow revenue or reduce costs. Keeping a tight control on costs has become an imperative in corporations since the 1980s, when companies and Wall Street started to realize how much profit was lost in waste.

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