On December 5, I was proud to stand in solidarity with fast food workers at the McDonald’s on Broadway and 51st Street and thousands of their fellow workers at chains in 100 cities across the country, who staged walkouts to protest decades of exploitation and demand fair wages. Fair pay and rights in the workplace are moral imperatives but sadly, the managers at this McDonalds, located in my Senate District, and at fast food outlets across the country, have threatened employees with immediate termination for their participation in protest events in support of a livable wage and the right to organize.
In our City, and in our country, 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 – a median of $8.90 an hour in New York City – are not enough to support themselves and their families. Meanwhile the government is subsidizing the fast food industry by providing cash assistance, food stamps and public health insurance to its underpaid workers. As I said to the crowd that gathered inside the McDonalds after a short march, “This is a $200 billion industry. We demand a piece of that success.”
You can see video of the remarks I made at the action here.