In the last several weeks we have shared stories with you about low-wage fast-food and retail workers staging organized protests in demand for higher wages in Chicago and New York, and now the demonstrations are spreading across the rest of the nation. One of the recent protests was held in Seattle on May 29.
The organized walkouts forced a Burger King in Lake City and a Taco Bell in Ballard to temporarily close their doors. The employees claim that they simply cannot live on the low wages and hours, not to mention unpredictable work schedules.
“Personally I’m on food stamps, my hours have been cut back,” Burger King employee Andrew Thomas said, according to Komo News. “Being here for a year and a half, I haven’t gotten a raise.”
As more of these demonstrations occur, the American public is beginning to take notice. Some people who don’t necessarily support a minimum wage increase may want to consider that they are essentially subsidizing wage and benefit costs for these fast food companies. Since the chains do not provide health benefits and a livable wage for employees, a majority are forced to rely on public aid in the form of welfare, food stamps and Medicaid.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment lawyers