Fast-Food Workers Urged To Stage Nationwide Strike

Source: Erik Sherman / MoneyWatch /  CBS News

A coalition of labor, religious and other groups are calling for a nationwide strike of fast-food employees on August 29.

The campaign, building on a flurry of one-day work stoppages this year at franchises around the U.S., highlights the efforts by unions to enlist workers in the cause and heighten the impact of the strikes. Labor supporters say that fast-food workers are poorly paid and that their low wages subsidize the profits of multinational corporations.

But many fast-food restaurant owners and other critics of the strikes say that profit margins at franchise are so thin that higher wages would put the companies out of business, costing workers their jobs.

The call for a strike came this week from a public relations agency that counts both the Service Employees International Union and United Food & Commercial Workers as clients. Both labor groups are among dozens of local and national religious, political, and union groups supporting the call for strikes. Last month, the same groups supported walkouts in some fast-food restaurants across seven cities. Others that have supported the event are the United Auto Workers, the Presbyterian Church USA, individual churches and synagogues like St. John’s Catholic Church of St. Louis, and some members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, including Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison.

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