Declaring Solidarity with NYC Fast Food Workers
I’m proud to declare my solidarity with the hundreds of fast food workers who are returning to work after walking out yesterday to protest decades of exploitation and to demand better pay.
Just as the growth of the national economy -- and the so-called recovery from the Great Recession -- has left behind average Americans, low-wage fast food workers have not seen any benefits from the record profits made by the large chains that employ them. Average hourly pay for fast food workers is the lowest of any occupation in the city, and even those who get full-time work earn less than federal poverty guidelines.
I believe fair pay is a moral imperative. Hard working people should be able to afford basic necessities like food, housing and health care. But the meager wages given to fast food workers are not enough to support themselves and their families.
Right now, our government is subsidizing fast food chains and many other large corporations by providing cash assistance, food stamps and public health insurance to underpaid workers. The benefits of union wages and increased purchasing power for fast food workers would ripple throughout the region, boosting our economy and cutting public benefit costs.
It’s in all New Yorkers’ interest to join the swelling movement to ensure fast food workers’ fair pay and rights in the workplace, including the right to unionize.