Pay announcement by $5 billion company yields $0 increase for more than 1.6 million workers
Slamming a pay announcement that will affect just 10 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce, McDonald’s workers in Miramar and nationwide protested Thursday to stress their demand for $15 an hour and the right to a union without retaliation. Fast food workers and community supporters came out this morning to the Miramar McDonald’s chanting “Where’s my raise?”
The wage announcement came one day after McDonald's and other fast-food workers announced plans for the biggest-ever strike to hit the fast-food industry—a 200-city walkout on April 15. Local rallys and marches are scheduled in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale and Miami on April 15 at the locations below.
- Fort Lauderdale: 8:30 am – Rally at Fort Lauderdale airport outside of terminal 1, 2nd floor
- Miami: 5:30 pm – Rally starting at Greater Bethel AME Church - 245 NW 8th St, Miami, Florida 33136. Rally will be followed by a march into downtown Miami.
- St. Petersburg: 10:00 am – Press conference at St. Petersburg City Hall 175 5th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
- Tampa: 3:00 pm – Rally & BBQ at Copeland Park in Tampa followed by a march. Copeland Park 11001 N 15th St. Tampa FL 33612
McDonald’s announced Wednesday that it would set pay one dollar above the local minimum wage for workers at its corporate-owned stores in the U.S., effective in July. The pay adjustment is expected to affect 90,000 workers in the U.S. – a fraction of the company’s 1.6 million workers, most of whom will continue to be paid the minimum wage or barely more.
“We need real change — the kind of change that will mean we can pay our bills, take care of our families, and live with dignity,” said Bleu Rainer, a McDonald’s worker from Tampa, Fla., who is paid $8.05 an hour.
“This [increase] to me is a total insult compared to the work I do inside that store. I want to see McDonald’s change and do better by their employees. If we can work hard for them they should make us feel appreciated,” said Laura Rollins, a McDonald’s worker from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who is paid $8.45 an hour.
“This move happened for one reason -- because workers joined together and went on strike,” said Kendall Fells, Organizing Director of Fast Food Forward. “And workers will continue joining together and going on strike until McDonald’s responds with more than a publicity stunt.”
McDonald’s business model of low wages, limited hours, and nonexistent benefits forces more than half of its workers to rely on public assistance in order to afford food, rent, and other basic needs, according to a 2013 report by the National Employment Law Project. The report found that McDonald's low wages cost taxpayers more than $1 billion a year.
In addition to Miramar workers protested in the following cities Thursday: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Hartford, CT; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Madison, WI; Memphis, TN; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Richmond, VA; St Louis, MO; San Diego, CA, Washington State.
SEIU Florida represents over 55,000 active and retired healthcare professionals, public employees, and property service workers in the state of Florida. SEIU members provide vital public services in Florida’s hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, community colleges, municipal and county governments, malls, and universities. With over 2.1 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.