New York City’s fast food workers are on strike

New York City’s fast food workers are on strike

“Try and Live on $7.25 an Hour”

New York City’s fast food workers are on strike.  Corporate America is making record profits in every industry, but refuses to pay a fair wage to their employees.  And Republicans in congress believe the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is fair.

The walkout was organized for today to commemorate Martin Luther King’s assassination 45 years ago in Memphis when he was supporting a strike by sanitation workers.

“It’s not enough,” Elba Godoy, a crew member at a McDonald’s just a few blocks from Times Square, said of her $7.25-per-hour minimum wage, which helps support her extended family of seven. “They don’t like [that we’re out here], but we have to do it. We cannot survive on $7.25.”

Government estimates of wages in the next 10 years reveal that 60% of jobs will be low-skilled, low pay.

The 2010 census showed that the separation of income between average wage earners and low-income greatly increased in ten years.  It is expected to increase even more in the next decade.

The most common jobs are retail workers, followed by cashiers and fast food workers.  These consist of 2.9 million people whose average wage is $8.78 an hour for an annual total of $18,720.  That figure is just above the poverty line for a family of three, and below it for a family of four.  And that’s if they are full time employees.

“Enough’s enough,” said 24-year-old Alterique Hall, one of Godoy’s co-workers. “Low-paid workers are sick and tired of being sick and tired at the end of the day. We get a pat on the back saying, ‘You’ll be fine, you’ll make it somehow.”” He says he can’t make ends meet on the $8-per-hour he’s paid, and often relies on his grandmother and aunt for meals.

Corporate executives and government officials are overpaid and underworked.  Massive profits were stockpiled during the recession.  Offshore accounts are bursting at the seams.  I would love to see the fat cats on Wall Street try and live on $9.00 an hour.  Most of them spend more money on lunch each day than low income workers earn for eight hours of work.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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