Thursday, September 4, 2014

Get a clue, McDonald’s!

Why I’m walking off my fast food job today

From stolen wages to nearly fainting from working in 95 degree kitchen, we just can't take this anymore

Campaign for America's Future

Get a clue, McDonald's! Why I'm walking off my fast food job today 
Protesters march outside McDonald's in Los Angeles, California, December 5, 2013. (Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
For the twelve years I worked as an elementary school teacher, bake sales were always a source of pride – for my students, their parents, and yes, teachers too. I still participate in them, only now it’s me doing the baking, and not for donation.

When my younger sister’s severe mental health issues worsened, I had to leave teaching to take care of her. The best job I could find that still worked for our family was at a McDonald’s in Kansas City, Kan., where I earn $7.45 an hour.

Along with cutting hair, selling Legal Shield and Avon products online and babysitting, selling baked goods at my church helps pay the bills that my fast-food job won’t. It’s a means of survival for my five children and me.

September used to mean the beginning of the school year and a new incoming class of students. This year, it means getting ready to go on strike.

Today, thousands of fast-food workers in more than 150 cities nationwide, myself included, will walk off our jobs. We’re prepared to risk arrest; to show fast-food companies that we are willing to do whatever it takes to win $15 and union rights; to show them that no one can survive on $7.45.

Earlier this year, I decided that my family is worth more than the some $50 a month I have left after paying rent and monthly bills. I walked off my job at McDonald’s on May 15, joining thousands of workers across the country to call for higher pay and the right to organize a union without retaliation. Though it was the first time I’ve gone on strike, I stood next to fast-food workers who have struck three, four, five times in the past 18 months.

Today, workers will show the industry just how far we’ve come since May. More importantly, fast-food companies will see just how committed we are to winning $15 and union rights.

As victories have piled up – from the first-ever citywide $15 wage in Seattle, to a recent ruling that says McDonald’s can no longer hide behind franchisees for its poor treatment of workers – fast-food workers have strengthened our resolve and grown our movement.

At the first-ever fast-food workers’ convention in July, I joined 1,300 workers from 50 cities to cement our commitment to this cause. Cooks, cashiers and maintenance workers – young and old, of all races and backgrounds – realizing we are worth more. Working mothers and fathers recognizing that if we speak out as individuals we are ignored, but if we speak out together as a union our voices are heard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you want to make more money, work somewhere other than a fast food "restaurant" . Get an education that qualifies you to earn more. This is ridiculous!