Hundreds Of Fast Food Workers Strike In 7 Cities

Fast food workers protest for improved in conditions in Kansas City.
Fast food workers protest for improved in conditions in Kansas City.

Both Terrance Wise and his fiancee each work two jobs. But the income from the four gigs is not enough for the 34-year-old Wise and his family to actually pay for their own home. And so Wise (pictured at right, at the microphone) considers himself "homeless" as his household floats between homes owned by friends and family around Kansas City, Mo. In what sector could a worker pull double-duty and still not have enough income to afford shelter?

Wise is a crew member in the fast food industry, and puts in around 25 hours a week at Burger King and about the same amount at Pizza Hut. His salary varies from $7.47 an hour at Pizza Hut (which is owned by Yum Brands) to $9.30 an hour at Burger King. Workers throughout the fast food industry regularly earn hourly wages close to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. (His fiancee, he says, works low-wage jobs in the retail industry.)

On Monday, Wise joined the estimated 160 fast food workers who walked out on their jobs in the Kansas City area, according to local reports. Hundreds of workers also walked off their jobs in New York and St. Louis. At rallies in Kansas City, workers and activists screamed slogans like, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, poverty wages got to go." The activism is part of a seven city-campaign over the following four days in which fast food workers are planning similar activities. Organizing by workers in Kansas City, in addition to similar plans for later in the week in Flint, Mich., mark the first time in recent memory that these two Midwestern cities are being targeted by striking fast food workers.