Workers Strike In Seventh City As Congressional Progressives Launch Campaign To Boost Wages

Fast food workers strike in New York (Credit: Salon)

Fast food workers in Seattle walked off the job Wednesday night, making it the seventh city home to striking workers in the last eight weeks. Workers were expected to strike at fast food chains McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and others during the one-day strike, just as workers in other cities have since the original fast food strike took place in New York City in December.

Like workers in other cities, Seattle workers are demanding a wage increase to $15 per hour and the right to form a union, The Nation’s Josh Eidelson reported.

The economic recovery that has taken place since the end of the Great Recession has largely left low-wage workers behind, and low-wage jobs have made up a majority of those added since the end of the downturn. Meanwhile, the minimum wage has stagnated, making it harder for workers in low-wage sectors to afford basic necessities. Profits at the largest low-wage employers, including McDonald’s and Yum! Brands, which owns Taco Bell and other fast food restaurants, have continued to soar.

As the strikes continue to spread, the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced Wednesday that it was launching a campaign to highlight the problems facing low-wage workers with a nationwide tour. “We’re going to talk about the need to increase wages,” Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (D) told MSNBC’s Ned Resnikoff. “We’re going to talk about growing inequality, the growing concentration of wealth at the top, and how that growing concentration is not just economic but also translates into political influence.”