Fast Food workers walked off their jobs in over 100 cities on Thursday, demanding a living wage. The actions were part of a movement to seeking the right to form a union without retaliation and for a $15 an hour wage. Chanting “We can’t survive on $7.25” workers and their allies took to the streets.
The fast food strikes are unfolding at a time when many seem prepared to confront the immorality of a global system that impoverished people. We’ve got a growing movement of Walmart workers striking, a new Pope that is scary the Jesus out of Conservative Christians by talking about the tyranny of capitalism, and the death of Nelson Mandela who said “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”
All this, while Congress is debating severe budget cuts that would shrink the social safety net. All of this, while worker productivity has increased. As Richard Eskow reports: “Productivity and the minimum wage generally increased at the same rate from 1947 to 1969, during this country’s postwar boom years. Using a conservative benchmark, economists Dean Baker and Will Kimball determined that the minimum wage would be $16.54 today if it had continued to keep pace with productivity.”