Fast-food workers walk off jobs for higher pay

Fast-food workers walk off jobs for higher pay

Nationwide, fast-food workers and labor organizers are walking off the job, asking for higher wages.

They want $15 an hour and the right to unionize. Organizers said employees would skip work in some 100 cities to rally for their rights to a higher wage.

The National Restaurant Association said most minimum-wage employees are part-time workers just trying to make extra cash. The organization said higher wages could mean layoffs.

Madison was among the cities involved in the protests. Protesters were outside Taco Bell on East Washington Avenue Thursday.

The current fast-food average national wage of $9 an hour comes out to $18,500 a year, which is about $4,500 below the poverty level for a family of four.

News 3 talked with Brenda Gomez, who said her fast-food job is how she survives. She said the fast-food giants have the means to pay their workers better.

“Believe they’re being affected by it. The pressure’s on them, so I think there’s going to be changes coming,” Gomez said.

There were similar protests in late August. This year has seen the largest strikes ever to hit the $200 billion fast-food industry.

Some state senators are pushing for an increase in the minimum wage to $7.60 an hour, which would be a 35 cent raise. The federal minimum wage was last raised four years ago.