Fast food workers in New York City walked off the job to protest low wages and demand unionization. The workers were organized by Occupiers and former ACORN members.
The New York Times reports that union organizers are trying to convince fast food workers to unionize.
The effort is being led by New York Communities for Change which is the name of the reorganized and rebranded former ACORN office in Brooklyn.
“I feel I deserve $15 an hour,” said Linda Archer, 59 a McDonalds cashier. “I work very hard.” Archer currently earns $8 an hour and averages 24 hours a week. (Read More)
NYCC is an offshoot of ACORN and has pretty much the same mission: “social and economic justice.”
NYCC’s own About Page touts this section, which should tell you quite a bit about its roots:
New York Communities for Change is a coalition of working families in low and moderate income communities fighting for social and economic justice throughout New York State. By using direct action, legislative advocacy, and community organizing, NY Communities’ members work to impact the political and economic policies that directly affect us.
Direct Action. Legislative Advocacy. Social and Economic Justice. Community Organizing. I contend NYCC is Occupy 2.0 and using a swanky, legit looking site to operate under. They even have paid strike organizers. I would not be shocked to find union backing also behind the founding of this group.
Read the whole thing, where there is more on the Occupy angle.
As for the unions, back to the NYT article (page 2):
The sponsors of the fast-food campaign also include UnitedNY.org, the Black Institute and the Service Employees International Union, a powerful union that is playing a quiet but important role behind the scenes.
Several religious leaders are backing the effort. “I’ve become involved because it is primarily a matter of justice,” said the Rev. Michael Walrond of the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem. “We seek to protect those who are the most vulnerable in our culture, and some of the most vulnerable people in the city are fast-food workers who work for poverty wages.”
According to the State Labor Department, median pay for fast-food workers in the city is around $9 an hour — or about $18,500 a year for a full-time worker.
Rev. Walrond might have good intentions, but by seeking to “protect” these workers his efforts could put some of them out of work completely. Either the companies will higher fewer workers and lay off existing workers, or they will pass the higher labor costs along to customers. Both scenarios will hurt business, as customers will either be turned off by bad service or they won’t be willing to pay higher prices.
Minimum wage in New York is $7.25 per hour, so most of the people working at these places make more than that. Fast food jobs are great for young kids just starting out, or people looking for a second job to help make ends meet. Unfortunately, in this economy these jobs are now the best some people can find. Of course you feel bad for them, but you can’t expect the employers to pay more than the jobs are worth. I’ve heard of roofers who make $15 per hour, and that job is a heck of a lot more demanding and dangerous than working at McDonalds. But the unions aren’t interested in reality. They just want more dues-paying members. And if these other organizations really cared about these workers, they’d spend their time training them so they could move on to better jobs. But they’re more interested in class warfare and sticking it to anyone they perceive as having too much.