Despite It Destroying Their Jobs, Fast Food Workers To Protest For $15 Minimum Wage
A campaign to raise the wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour is tying its fight to historical fights for civil rights as protesters plan to rally in Detroit and other cities nationwide on Monday.
The protests come exactly 50 years after the Memphis sanitation strike.
Employees at fast food restaurants across the country plan to walk off their jobs. They will begin protesting for a $15-an-hour salary, the Detroit Free Press reports.
The fast food employees will be joined by thousands of other workers protesting in two dozen cities across the nation who will show support for the strikers and the new Poor People’s Campaign.
A press conference and rally will be held at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park on the corner of West Grand Boulevard and Rosa Parks Boulevard at 12:15 p.m., followed by a march and protest at a local McDonald’s.
Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield will be joining with the Fight for $15 fast food workers, hospital workers, Service Employees International Union Local 1, faith and community allies, according to a news release.
“We’re going to send a message to corporations and politicians that their time of rigging the economy against workers is over,” the Rev. W.J. Rideout, one of the local protest organizers, told the Free Press. “We have to stand up and fight back.”
But just how well does a manipulated rise in wages to $15 and hour work out?
When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they’d hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet the hike has had the opposite effect.
According to a major new study, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They’ve cut their payrolls and put off new hiring. They are reducing hours or letting their workers go.
California’s massive state-wide jump to a $15 minimum wage is looking to cost around 400,000 potential jobs. This is according to a new Employment Policy Institute study.
“California Dreamin’ of Higher Wages,” strives to evaluate what the state’s jump to a $15 minimum wage will mean when it fully kicks in in 2022 by attempting to contextualize it with the empirical effects of previous minimum wage increases in the state going back to 1990.
The results are pretty dire. They believe that by the time the minimum wage fully kicks in the state will have lost 400,000 jobs as a consequence. These job losses will not be evenly distributed throughout the state’s workforce. They will hit food service, retail, and agriculture jobs the hardest. Overall, this a four percent loss of jobs out of workforce estimated at around 10 million.
The state of New York embarked on an unprecedented experiment in raising the minimum wage. At the start of 2016, the city’s tipped minimum wage increased by 50 percent. The minimum wage for fast food workers jumped by nearly 17 percent to $10.50. At the start of 2017, the wage floor rose higher to $12 an hour,. The minimum wage for all businesses in the city rose by 22 percent to $11 an hour.
Now NYC is full of empty store fronts.
Exhaustive research over the past few decades suggests raising the minimum wage has little negative impact on overall employment.
Problem is, most past wage hikes have been relatively modest. There’s no data to confidently predict what might happen following the kinds of increases now planned in California and New York.
Because teenagers and young adults hold a disproportionately large share of low-wage jobs, they figure to be among the hardest hit. They will be pushed out by older and better-educated workers who will be drawn by the higher pay offered by retail stores, food services and other businesses.
That could hurt opportunities, especially for black teenagers, one of the most vulnerable groups in America.
Even Harry Holzer, the Labor Department’s top economist in the Clinton administration’s second term, fears there will be heavy job losses. He claims the $15 wage will effect the most the low-skilled, less-educated workers. They may even have to accept cash under the table or cut deals to keep their jobs.
He thought $15 was more of a bargaining ploy to get to $10 an hour, or maybe $12.
So just when are these people going to learn? It really is simple. Low wage jobs are jumping off points to learn. As you grow, get another job that makes more money. Leave the spot for another entry level person. You continue to grow, learn, and earn more.
Who wants to stay in fast food as a career? Silly kids!