Mixed reaction to fast food workers’ demands

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August 29, 2013, 5:51 pm
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(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) - Fast food workers across the country are taking a stand. Many, including employees in Boston, walked off their jobs Thursday.

Workers are asking for higher wages and union representation. They want to increase wages to $15 an hour.

“Fifteen dollars is absurd but if it does happen let me know and I’ll be the first to get a job,” says Saardine Adade.

The movement comes at a time when federal government is considering increasing minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.

Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University, doesn't think the fast food workers efforts will succeed.

“Don't think they have much political support and at a time workers are thankful they have a job, it’s difficult to increase wages and jeopardize jobs.”

Chaison thinks fast food companies like McDonald's and Burger King pay fair wages for their market but says this movement highlights a much deeper issue.

“A lot of workers at fast food places are previously employed and lost good high paying jobs with benefits and find themselves now in fast food restaurants.”

According to Chaison, increasing wages to $15 could burden many fast food chains who operate as franchises and are locally owned. It could also impact the cost of a meal.

“It would be a 5-star restaurant; McDonalds wouldn’t be McDonalds; don't see how they could keep their prices and accommodate 15 dollars an hour,” says Adade.

“To work at McDonalds and make that much money, there are people out there who make lower wages and do a lot more,” says Escriel Jaminez.

Tags: Boston, jobs, Clark University, Katelyn Tivnan, fast food, wages, fast food protest, fast food employees, higher wages, union representation, sardine adade, gary chaison, escriel jaminez
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