Thursday, September 4, 2014

Local fast food workers strike for better wages

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 3:57 PM

This morning, workers at some Rochester-area fast food restaurants went on strike. They'll join fast food workers in cities across the country as part of the Fight for $15 campaign.

The workers say they want employers like McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's to commit to a $15 an hour wage for store employees and the right to form a union without retaliation. Campaign organizers say that the restaurants make big profits each year, but pay their employees — many of whom have families —  low wages. In May 2013, the average wage for fast food preparation and service workers in the Rochester metro was $9.89 an hour, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More telling, however, is the bureau's data on average annual wages for food service workers in the Rochester area, broken down by percentile. Quick hint: the 90th percentile means that 90 percent of workers in the sector would earn less than that amount on an annual basis while the 10th percentile means that 10 percent of the workers in that sector would earn less than that amount. (For reference, the federal poverty line is $23,850 a year for a family of four.)

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