news Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 05:30

Hundreds of workers on Wednesday swarmed Oak Brook, a suburb in Chicago where the Headquarters of McDonald’s is located.

They staged a mass protest demanding better wages at 15$/ hour (as opposed to the current $7/ hour) and a workers union dedicated exclusively to them. The protests happened right before the annual shareholders meeting was to be held.

The Oak Brook police had estimated that about 2,000 people showed up at the protests and the streets had to be closed, including one McDonald’s restaurant itself.

In response to these requests by workers everywhere, McDonald’s announced in April that it would be raising its wages by more than 10%. Unfortunately, this increase applies to only a fraction of its workers.

Before demonstrations began, Heidi Barker, a McDonald's spokeswoman, said the company does not have the power to raise wages of workers employed by its franchisees. She said it's possible that franchisees will follow the company's lead and also raise wages of front-line workers, reports The Chicago Tribune.

Thus, the change affects an increase in the average hourly wage, from $9.01 to $9.90 for employees in companies that are owned by McDonald’s. Franchisee owned chains account for more than 90% of the restaurants, spread across 14,000 locations in the USA.

The "Fight for 15" is a battle that spans over a period of two –and-a-half years, but this protest is the one that saw the maximum numbers as fast food workers went on strike, demanding better wage and union rights.

 

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