Speed Reads


Fast food workers from around the world set to strike on May 15

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Seeking better pay and working conditions, fast food workers around the world will strike on May 15, the activist group Fast Food Forward announced on Wednesday.

The strikes will take place at McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC locations in India, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, and other countries across five continents, Al Jazeera reports. It's the expansion of a movement that started in November 2012, when about 200 workers went on strike in New York City, asking for a pay increase to $15 per hour and the ability to unionize without fear of retaliation.

"It's amazing that our fight for $15 and a union has inspired workers around the world to come together," says Ashley Cathey, a McDonald's employee from Memphis, Tennessee. "The highly-profitable fast food industry needs to know we won't stop fighting until our voices are heard."

In the United States, women make up more than two-thirds of all minimum wage workers, and many are single mothers who struggle to live off of $7.25 or less an hour. In Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray said last week that his city plans to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which would be the highest in the country.

That's still less than what Louise Marie Rantzau makes in Denmark, where she earns $21 an hour working at McDonald's. Rantzau plans on protesting on May 15 in solidarity with her fellow fast food employees in the United States. "I was surprised when I heard workers in the U.S. had to fight so hard for just $15 and better rights," she said in a statement. "Fast food companies need to treat the people who make and serve their food with the same respect everywhere, and workers in Denmark are committed to supporting the workers' cause until that happens."