4

Miami Fast-Food Workers to Join 150-City Protest Tomorrow

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

The nationwide fight for fast-food workers to raise their standard of living is getting louder and more organized.

On Thursday, September 4, employees of major companies like McDonald's and Burger King will protest in 150 major cities, including Miami.

The Miami events, organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which actually focuses not on the restaurant industry but on healthcare workers, public service workers, and people employed in property services (building cleaning and security), will be held at two different times and locations.

The first walk-out is scheduled for 5:30 a.m. at 18200 NW 27th Ave. in Miami Gardens. Another protest will be held at 11:30 a.m. at 144 NE 168th St. in North Miami Beach. Both locations are lots close to several fast food restaurants, allowing workers easy access to the sites without targeting a specific chain for protest. According to the organizers, who choose to remain secretive, restaurant management might retaliate against workers if they knew the exact locations of the walk-out activities in advance.

Florida Senator Dwight Bullard and other elected officials are expected to join employees who are seeking a minimum hourly pay rate of $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation. In addition, national organizers Low Pay Is Not OK are circulating an online petition for workers to sign.

These protests were organized after President Barack Obama recognized the movement in a Labor Day speech, saying "All across the country right now there's a national movement going on made up of fast-food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity. There is no denying a simple truth. America deserves a raise."

According to a statement issued by the SEIU, "It's just wrong that so many fast food workers aren't paid enough to afford our basic needs, like food, transportation, and housing. We're united for a $15/hour wage floor and the right to form a union without retaliation. Raising pay will lift up our families and our communities."

The campaign for $15 an hour started in November 2012, when 200 fast food workers walked off their jobs in New York City, stating that companies like McDonald's and Wendy's no longer employ teenagers. Instead these jobs are held by adults with families.

The fight seems to be working. California recently passed a bill to raise its minimum wage to $13 by 2017 and Seattle's city council is working on approving a minimum wage rate hike to $15 an hour.

Currently, Florida minimum wage is $7.93 per hour, with a minimum wage of at least $4.91 per hour for tipped employees. Assuming an employee works a full 40-hour shift for 52 consecutive weeks, that equates to about $16,500 per year. That's just above the poverty guidelines for a family of two ($15,730), according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.