Today, organizers say fast-food workers in Phoenix are expected to walk off their jobs in what's expected to be the largest-ever strike to hit the $200 billion industry, spanning 50 cities and every region of the continental United States.
The Associated Press writes:
"Thursday's planned walkouts follow a series of strikes that began last November in New York City, then spread to cities including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. Workers say they want $15 an hour, which would be about $31,000 a year for full-time employees. That's more than double the federal minimum wage, which many fast food workers make, of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year."
The Phoenix workers, walking off their jobs for the first time, in addition to calling for $15 an hour, also want the right to form a union without retaliation or unfair labor practices.
A press release from the Phoenix-based organization LUCHA, Living United for Change in Arizona, states that local clergy, elected officials, and community supporters will join fast-food workers -- from places such as Del Taco, Taco Bell, Church's Chicken, Burger King, Wendy's, IHOP, and Panda Express -- on the strike lines, with a protest being held at 10:15 a.m. this morning at the Southeast corner of 7th Avenue and Van Buren.
LUCHA goes on to say that, "an adult with one child needs to make $19.80 an hour working full time in the Phoenix area just to afford the basics, according to a model developed by a professor at MIT."
Earlier today, Reuters reported that, according to organizers, "strikes spread quickly across the country and have shut down restaurants in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Raleigh and Seattle."