If you've been keeping up with the news, you're likely aware of the wave of fast-food worker strikes that have been rippling throughout the nation. Workers from New York to Seattle have been protesting with one-day walkoffs from their jobs, and today's demonstration will be the biggest yet, with workers in 35 cities taking a one-day strike to demand the right to unionize and a pay increase to double their hourly wage from the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour to a living wage of $15/hour.
Though San Francisco won't see any strikes today (likely because our minimum wage, at $10.55/hour, is the nation's highest), about 800 workers from 37 outlets in Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward, Emeryville, Alameda, Fremont, Richmond, and more will be on strike today, targeting employers such as McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell. In addition to wage increases, they hope to pressure employers into offering more true full-time shifts, instead of the common practice of cutting off employees' hours right before they reach the 40-hour-per-week threshold and have to begin receiving healthcare and benefits. For their part, McDonald's and Burger King insist that their workers' complaints are "misguided." Those who want to show support for the strikers can attend two Oakland rallies today: the first is at 11 am at the KFC at 470 Lake Park Avenue, and the second is at 4:30 pm at the McDonald's at 640 Hegenberger Road.