More than 80 people from 26 countries met in New York on May 5 and 6, under the banner
of the global trade union IUF, in the world’s first international gathering of fast food workers.
Meetings like this are normally not news, but the next day participants gathered for a lively
demonstration outside a Manhattan McDonald’s restaurant, and announced a U.S.
nationwide fast food strike for May 15. They were throwing their support behind the demand to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
That was news and generated considerable media interest, not least from the business press.
But worker protest at fast food chains and union support for the protests have been building in recent years — the May 15 strike call didn’t come from nowhere.
I – Word Understanding
under the banner of – using the support of
demonstration – people gather to show they are opposed to something/someone
strike – a time when workers stop working in order to force employers to give their demands
II – Have Your Say
1. Today’s fast food employee is older and better educated than earlier generations. Employees used to be students and young people.
2. Some blue-collared jobs pay more than fast food workers.
3. Labor unions: are they necessary?
– Increased wages and benefits
– job protection
– Higher production costs
– Limited workplace flexibility