Fast food strikes started last November, spread to seven cities on July 29th, and will gain momentum in more cities on August 29th’s planned strike. Fast food employees are demanding higher wages and the right to unionize, and have been staging one-day strikes over the span of this past year, by walking out during peak mealtimes and rallying in front of fast food restaurants like McDonald’s. The walkouts and rallies in New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Missouri, and Flint, Michigan have since spread to cities such as Los Angeles, Memphis, Raleigh, N.C., and Tampa. The strikes could reach thirty-five cities this Thursday, according to TIME, as fast food employees seek a $15 per hour minimum wage and the union rights.
The Service Employees International Union, a supporter of the strikes, hopes the strikes will pressure Congress to increase the $7.25 minimum wage, CBS Los Angeles reported. If hundreds of thousands of McDonald’s workers are expected to participate in the strikes like CBS notes, thousands more are likely to strike in other fast food restaurants like Wendy’s and Taco Bell, as well as retailers like Macy’s, according to TIME.
A $15 hourly wage for fast food workers seems unlikely right now, but the growth of this movement continues to bring minimum wage and union rights issues to the forefront.