KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A national movement by fast food workers to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour is growing. Tens of thousands of fast food workers around the world plan to walk off the job Thursday, including some in Kansas City. The rallies will span 150 cities and 33 countries on six continents.
Besides calling for a $15 an hour wage, they are also, for the first time, demanding the right to form a union.
Kansas City workers have rallied several times over the past year and a half. In fact, after the initial rally in New York City back in the fall of 2012, Kansas City was one of the next cities to get involved in the grass-roots movement.
A few weeks ago, organizers of the movement met with union leaders to discuss a joint ventureship. One local mother of four who has worked at Wendy's for eight years makes the minimum wage of $7.50 an hour and she explained what she wants from these efforts.
"A livable wage because we are not living," Latrya Caldwell. "We’re barely making it. We’re using state assistance to take care of our billing necessities, and if we’re working 40 hours at a time, we should be able to take care of our own bills and our own children.
Those against this movement include the National Restaurant Association, which believes 'the majority of lower-wage employees work part-time to supplement a family income.'
While many stereotype fast food workers as teenagers, the truth is that the median age is 28, and most fast food workers are between the ages of 25-54.
As for whether these rallies are working? Seattle recently proposed a $15/hour minumum wage, so it does appear to be having some effect.