Fast food workers rally in Kansas City, asking for higher wages and chance to unionize

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some McDonald’s workers rallied across the country Wednesday including here in Kansas City, demanding increased wages and a chance to unionize.

“There’s core people missing and that’s us,” employee Fran Marion said. “I want a seat at that table.”

Employees at one rally held at the McDonald’s near 34th and Main streets said they want more from the company, especially after it earned nearly $5 billion this past year.

“Those profits you celebrating, I want to celebrate them, too, because I helped you make them,” Marion said. “We had to fight for pandemic PPE as they call it. We had to go through dealing with irate customers, being in unsafe work conditions and we had to fight for how hard we came thus far.”

But not everyone is convinced that a $15 per hour minimum wage is the right solution.

A data analysis by a writer from Forbes points out 90% of McDonald’s stores are franchises. He claims raising the wage to $15 could wipe out nearly ¾ of their profits in a year.

“They need to respect American workers like all McDonald’s workers regardless of if they’re corporate or franchise,” employee Richard Eiker said.

Protestors said there’s strength in numbers and soon the company won’t be able to ignore their demands.

Each rally we have, we get bigger and we get more massive,” Marion said. “Everybody is starting to wake up and see that we need a living wage.”

Stand Up KC said the company announced plans to raise wages at its corporate-owned stores, but said that plan falls short of the $15 and a union demand and leaves out 95% of McDonald’s workers, who work in franchise stores.

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