Fast-food workers in Wisconsin walk off their jobs to demand higher wages.
Hundreds of low-wage workers in at least three Wisconsin cities join the national effort calling for higher wages, saying it reduces income inequality, stimulates the economy, and offers a better future for their families. Mike Wilder is community coalition coordinator for Wisconsin Jobs Now.
“We have people who are working full time — in some cases working more than full time, working over time — and they still are struggling to make ends meet, pay the bills, put food on the table.”
Workers at various fast-food and retail stores are fighting for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation or unfair labor practices. Minimum wage in Wisconsin is $7.25 an hour.
Opponents to increasing wages worry employers will reduce the number of jobs.
Wilder says workers simply can’t make ends meet on low wages. “This country is based on the principle that if you work hard you can achieve the American dream … that is not the reality for a lot of low-wage workers across America.”
He argues that while the fast food industry is making record profits, its workers are forced to rely on public assistance just to afford the basics.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:23
NOTE: In Wisconsin, workers in — at least — Milwaukee, Madison, and Wausau plan to participate. There’s no specific time at which all workers will simultaneously walk off the job. He says it depends on their varying work schedules. The national strike comes on the heels of strikes in Milwaukee on May 15 and August 1 www.lowpayisnotok.org