In a bid to get wage increase and enjoy other perks such as being members of workers union without reprisal, fast food workers decided to take to the streets to have their voice heard. This was part of efforts that have been going on for 2 years where employees want to earn an hourly wage of $15. Currently, they are paid about $8.74per hour. This however ended up doing more harm than good as about 19 of them were arrested with the number expected to rise as there were other protects at a McDonald that is located nearby. The participants were charged with obstructing traffic outside the McDonald?s New York Times Square. The same happened in Detroit where about 30 people were arrested with 6 being held for outstanding traffic warrants and the rest getting tickers for disorderly conduct.ˇ
This does not stop here as 27 people were also arrested in Milwaukee in a case related to disruption of traffic and disorderly conduct outside a McDonald?s joint. Police in Chicago also reported that 19 people were being held after being arrested and ticketed for standing near McDonald?s on a roadway. Among the people who were arrested was a Wisconsin Democrat Rep, Gwen Moore who has to pay $691 from her pocket as her office said that it will not cover that.ˇ
The company was not happy with the occurrence and claimed that the events were staged demonstrations where union organizers transported people to various locations and it also said that the fast food joints had not experienced any service disruptions. Organizers however have different stories as they claimed that there were also joined by workers from other joints such as Wendy?s, KFC and Burger King who held demonstrations in various parts of the cities. They also said that the workers who were arrested were about 436.
The protests happen after the National Labor Relations Board?s general counsel ruled that the first food joint exerts significant power over the franchises working conditions. If the ruling is to go through, it implies that McDonald could be held legally responsible for labor violations in all its restaurants and could be made to pay huge compensation to the workers. The company however disputed this and claimed that it would contest the allegations as it believes that the business is not liable because it operates as an independent unit.ˇ
This is not the first time it is happening as sometimes back employees from McDonald had filed class action lawsuits in various cities including Michigan, New York and California complaining about violations in terms of wage theft where workers were forced to work overtime without pay and had some hours deducted from the time cards. McDonald said they have nothing to do with this as they do not determine how the franchises pay their employees. Protests like these only go to show the true picture of the level of inequality that happens in the USA. They also say that they have not been in vain as they have been able to get some positive reactions in some states like New Jersey and Connecticut.ˇ