Local News

Triangle fast-food workers to protest wages

Posted December 5, 2013

— Some employees of Raleigh and Durham fast-food restaurants are planning to walk off the job Thursday as part of a 100-city strike aimed at securing better pay. 

Thousands of workers are expected to stage walkouts across the country, part of a push that began a year ago to get chains like McDonald's, Taco Bell and Wendy's to pay workers higher wages. Workers want the right to unionize and secure a pay raise to about $15 per hour.

A $15 hourly wage, almost double the $8.56/hour average for North Carolina fast-food workers, would equal about $31,000 a year for full-time employees. It's more than double the federal minimum wage, which many fast food workers make, of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year.

Workers in Raleigh gathered in the 6300 block of Capital Boulevard at about 6 a.m. In Durham, the protest in the 2100 block of Avondale Drive was scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Workers in Charlotte, Greensboro and several other North Carolina cities were also expected to strike. 

At a similar rally in August, 39-year-old Willieta Dukes, who works at Burger King, said she enjoys serving people. 

"Why should I have to do something else when they cut back on our hours? They tell us we're good," she said. "Why can't they pay us what we are worth?"

249 Comments

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  • junkmail5 Dec 6, 7:55 p.m.

    junkmail5: I'd say that you've never owned a business, based on your responses. -determined2win

    Why? Because I keep presenting documented facts proving my points?

    That's kind of an odd reaction to that.

    There's ZERO need to raise Minimum Wage, as that wage was NEVER designed to be a Living Wage- determined2win

    Uh...yes it was.

    That was the POINT of it in fact.

    Roosevelt explicitly called for "legislation to end starvation wages"

    It had nothing to do with a "training" wage and EVERYTHING to do with a LIVING wage.

    That was the POINT.

  • junkmail5 Dec 6, 7:47 p.m.

    THEN, businesses will hire more workers & only allow them to each work 15 hours/week. No need to raise the prices of any items.

    No Problem.
    determined2win

    that makes no sense.

    Replacing one 30 hour a week worker at $15/hr with 2 15 hr/week workers making $15/hr costs the SAME salary for both options- but you have to train two people instead of one.

  • determined2win Dec 6, 7:44 p.m.

    junkmail5: I'd say that you've never owned a business, based on your responses. There's ZERO need to raise Minimum Wage, as that wage was NEVER designed to be a Living Wage. It was only designed to be a TRAINING wage to be earned by young people in order to learn job skills.

    Adults that opt to stay at those jobs & not move up the salary ranks deserve no remorse from the rest of America. You get the results in Life from the choices you make and the actions that you take.

    No tears here for those that choose to work for minimum wage...

  • determined2win Dec 6, 7:39 p.m.

    Sure, go ahead & raise the minimum wage to $15.00. No problem.

    THEN, businesses will hire more workers & only allow them to each work 15 hours/week. No need to raise the prices of any items.

    No Problem.

  • determined2win Dec 6, 7:36 p.m.

    Jobs will NEVER pay a person what they're worth.

    Jobs ONLY pay what the POSITION is worth.

  • junkmail5 Dec 6, 6:43 p.m.

    timex-

    That's called a strawman...

    Unable to really address the ACTUAL topic, you set one up that nobody was even suggesting... then knocked the strawman down to show us how bad an idea it was. Despite nobody here having even brought that idea up.

    FWIW, places like CA often pass a HIGHER minimum wage than the federal one for just the reason you mention- cost of living is higher than average there.

    In fact, the one they recently signed into law raises it to... $10 a hour.

    If you believe some folks here who keep ignoring the facts it means a hamburger will soon be $10 at Mcdonalds there... or they'll all go out of business.

    Nonsense of course.

    All the law does is bring it up to CLOSE to what it was 35 years ago, adjusted for inflation... though still a bit lower.

  • timexliving Dec 6, 6:23 p.m.

    Some questions to consider?

    Why set the federal minimum wage amount at $15.00? In some places that wage will take you far. In New York City and just about any place in California, not so such much.

    If we have a minimum wage, how do we set the maximum wage? Seems like if you have one, you should have the other.

    Creating a formula for a federally mandated max wage would take us even farther away for a free market system than we have ever been. It would make ObamaCare look like minor legislation.

    While I don't agree that it is ethical that a CEO should earn 150 times more than the lowest paid employee, correcting the injustice is will wreak havoc on our economy and will hurt the poor the most. Nothing in life is fair.

  • junkmail5 Dec 6, 5:55 p.m.

    @junkmail5 - you are thinking logically, now think about the greed behind the profit making and sharing. The greedy will not want to lose their current profit making if the wages are increased, so they will adjust their prices. -gregbscis

    Do you think that's ONLY true today... or has it always been true?

    Because I think it always has.

    Therefore we can reasonably judge how prices will change when we increase the min wage by looking at how they changed when we PREVIOUSLY changed it.

    Which is what all the evidence I have presented shows.

    Which is that the price increases are VERY TINY compared to the wage increases.

    Because when you raise the pay of the guy flipping the burger by $3 an hour, it doesn't cost you $3 more PER BURGER as some folks seem to think.

    And again- min wage was $10.65 inflation adjusted in 1967... and we didn't have $10 fast food burgers (inflation adjusted) back THEN... so why would we NOW?

  • mistervegas Dec 6, 4:37 p.m.

    How much do non-fast food restaurants pay their employees?

  • gregbscis Dec 6, 4:35 p.m.

    @junkmail5 - you are thinking logically, now think about the greed behind the profit making and sharing. The greedy will not want to lose their current profit making if the wages are increased, so they will adjust their prices. It's like the oil companies, even if something is merely speculated to affect them, they raise prices. The best solution is leave fast food jobs to the teens, college kids, and very temporary jobs. No one should make a career in fast food unless maybe they are part of the management program. Sorry, I am still not convinced this is more harmful than good especially during our current fragile financial situation.

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