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Industry Unrest in US – Fast Food Employees Uprising

Updated : October 5th, 2021

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Fast food employees in Chicago

Slow & steady, from New York to several Midwestern cities, thousands of fast-food personnel have been holding one-day strikes during peak meal times, quickly drawing national attention to their demands for higher wages.
Their chief demand is for a hike in hourly wage to $15 in times of surge in cost of living. Contemporary median hourly wage in the fast food industry is $9.05 which seems to be out of sync in gratifying basic amenities.

A Taco Bell worker, Sharise Stitt, 27, joined the strike, saying the $8.09 she earns after five years there was insufficient to support her family. She was evicted from her Detroit apartment and moved her family to her sister’s house in Taylor, Michigan. That means a 45-minute commute each way and a gas bill of $50 every four days. After taxes, she has about $900 a month to feed and clothe her three children. They receive food stamps.

Regrettably, none of the nation’s 200,000-plus fast-food restaurants are unionized.

The strategists know they want to achieve a $15 wage, but they seem to be ad-libbing on ways to get there. Perhaps they will seek to unionize workers at dozens of restaurants, although some labor leaders scoff at that idea because the turnover rate among fast-food employees is about 75 percent a year.

Limited career growth in the Fast Food Industry

Front-line jobs in the fast food industry—including cooks, cashiers, delivery workers, and other non- managerial positions—rank among the lowest-paying occupations in the U.S. economy. In response to growing criticism, industry spokespersons have defended low wages for front-line fast food workers by arguing that these jobs serve as stepping stones to higher-paying managerial positions, as well as opportunities to eventually own and operate a fast food franchise.
These claims, however, are not supported by the facts. Managerial positions account for only a tiny fraction of jobs in the fast food industry, and opportunities for franchise ownership are even fewer. Moreover, the substantial financial resources required to open a fast food franchise make entrepreneurship an unrealistic option for front-line fast food workers earning poverty-level wages.

Occupational composition of fast food industry

Overwhelming Majority of Americans View Minimum Wage Increase as Important Priority for Congress over Next Year

Members of Congress call for passage of Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 after four years without a federal minimum wage increase; rallies planned in over 30 cities across the country to demand higher wages for millions of America’s lowest-paid workers.

As four years pass without an increase in the federal minimum wage, a new poll released finds that 80 percent of Americans – including 62 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Independents – support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and indexing it to the cost of living, as proposed in the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller earlier this year. According to the poll, 74 percent of Americans consider raising the minimum wage to be an important legislative priority for Congress to address over the next year.

As members of Congress, business leaders, and workers gather in Washington on Wednesday to call for immediate passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, thousands of low-wage workers and their supporters in over 30 cities throughout the U.S. will hold rallies at major retail and fast food corporations, as part of a National Day of Action to raise wages for millions of America’s lowest-paid workers.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would raise the federal minimum wage from the current rate of $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by 2015, and it would provide for annual increases to the rate in future years to keep pace with the rising cost of living, a key reform known as “indexing” that  ten states have already successfully implemented. The bill would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from its current low rate of $2.13 per hour, where it has been frozen since 1991, to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.

Unemployment rate seems to have found a steady decrease in the country but does not reflect the problems faced by workers. More on state unemployment rates here.

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  1. How do you get a hold of a live person to talk about your rejected back to work bonus. They keep asking for pay stubs. I submit and get the same rejection letter again. What am I missing. Need to talk to a real person.

    1. Desree,

      The phone lines might remain busy during peak hours. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (you might be required to book an appointment prior to the website).

  2. Form SSA-632BK , quote “File to waive the overpayments if the overpaid unemployment amount was not your fault. You can request an overpayment waiver by filing the Social Security Administration (SSA) form”. Thank you for the information that this form can be used for unemployment benefit overpaid. I try to file a form SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration.

  3. I filed for unemployment benefits in November 2020 and requested payments every time as requested up untilvthe time I went back to work in February 2021 and still Have Not received the first payment from unemployment office when should I expect to receive these payments

    1. Debbie,

      For a faster resolution, please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (you might be required to book an appointment prior to the website).

  4. Think it that people only qualify for back to work bonus, if they were still getting unemployment in May. I stopped receiving PUA benefits in beginning of year and went back to work in March after having been unemployed since March 2020… I think I should be eligible.

    1. Kris,

      I suggest you talk to the Unemployment Office for clarification. If you think you’ve been denied wrongfully, please consider filing an “Appeal”.

  5. I’m Tonya Denise Sneed and I have still not been compensated for doing my weekly certification… That the week of my pay, I was never paid… And I need that money from May 4, 2020

    1. Tonya,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim file. Kindly chase the Unemployment Office over the phone or via the website.

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