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McDonald’s vacates headquarters due to worker protests

Thousands of protesters marched on a McDonald’s campus that houses its Hamburger University training facility, demanding higher wages for workers.

The site of the planned protest was changed after McDonald’s vacated its headquarters in the US state of Illinois after consulting with police.

Protesters want the fast food giant pay a minimum wage of $15 (£9) per hour, double the US federal minimum wage.

The company’s annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

The closure affected one of five McDonald’s corporate buildings and about 3,000 employees.

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Poverty Campaigning in the US:

So, lady working for McDonalds calls up McDonalds, asking for help on how to feed her kids. Result: Contact the state - they have programs for no-income or low-income adults. 

Absolutely not ok! Pay a living wage for the damn work - this is just welfare for a whole sector

Did You Know That Money Spent on Missiles for Syria Won’t Feed Hungry Americans Mr President ?

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Since everyone is feeling sentimental from the 50th Anniversary March on Washington Yesterday, we decided today would be a good day to continue with the real message from MLK’s Speech.

Maybe someone will remind those who are so hot to respond into the civil wars in the middle east; that Dr. King’s march was about Poverty, and Jobs. Yes JOBS. Not about Civil Rights so much but Human Rights.

With that theme in mind, we continue our discussions about the events of this day. First let us remember those who we lost in New Orleans on this day when 8 years ago Hurricane Katrina decimated the city.

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provocatoria:
fuckyeahmarxismleninism

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From Bryan Pfeifer:

Today is the 8th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; there are still tens of thousands of mostly Black people displaced across the U.S., and many poor people in New Orleans are still suffering in the wake of Katrina — and because of U.S. government, banking and corporate racist indifference and neglect.

We’re also on the eve of a possibly historical low-wage worker strike. At the same time, the Pentagon, the White House and their Wall Street bosses are on the verge of bombing and invading Syria in an attempt to steal that nation’s and the regions resources and for geopolitical control.

MONEY FOR KATRINA VICTIMS & LOW-WAGE WORKERS, NOT A WAR ON SYRIA!!

That sign though. Damn.

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Today is also the Day Of The Nationwide Walkout of Fast food Workers for livable wages.

We are supporting it 100%.

Just in case you missed this - Mickey D’s Delivers
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Rain or shine, McDonald’s delivery is there for you

Seoulistic.com

Can you believe it? McD’s delivers in S. Korea.

This story is from ABC on What the situation really means for those still struggling to make a livable wage in America 2013.

Fast-Food Strikes Set for Cities Nationwide

NEW YORK August 28, 2013 (AP) By CANDICE CHOI and KAREN MATTHEWS Associated Press

Fast-food customers in search of burgers and fries on Thursday might run into striking workers instead.

Organizers say thousands of fast-food workers are set to stage walkouts in dozens of cities around the country, part of a push to get chains such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wendy’s to pay workers higher wages.

It’s expected be the largest nationwide strike by fast-food workers, according to organizers. The biggest effort so far was over the summer when about 2,200 of the nation’s millions of fast-food workers staged a one-day strike in seven cities.

Thursday’s planned walkouts follow a series of strikes that began last November in New York City, then spread to cities including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. Workers say they want $15 an hour, which would be about $31,000 a year for full-time employees. That’s more than double the federal minimum wage, which many fast food workers make, of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year.

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The move comes amid calls from the White House, some members of Congress and economists to hike the federal minimum wage, which was last raised in 2009. But most proposals seek a far more modest increase than the ones workers are asking for, with President Barack Obama wanting to boost it to $9 an hour.

The push has brought considerable media attention to a staple of the fast-food industry — the so-called “McJobs” that are known for their low pay and limited prospects. But the workers taking part in the strikes still represent a tiny fraction of the broader industry. And it’s not clear if the strikes on Thursday will shut down any restaurants because organizers made their plans public earlier in a call for workers around the country to participate, which gave managers time to adjust their staffing levels. More broadly, it’s not clear how many customers are aware of the movement, with turnout for past strikes relatively low in some cities.

Laila Jennings, a 29-year-old sales associate at T.J. Maxx, was eating at a McDonald’s in New York City this week and said she hadn’t heard of the movement. Still, she said she thinks workers should be paid more. “They work on their feet all day,” Jennings said, adding that $12 to $15 an hour seemed fair.

As it stands, fast-food workers say they can’t live on what they’re paid.

Shaniqua Davis, 20, lives in the Bronx with her boyfriend, who is unemployed, and their 1-year-old daughter. Davis has worked at a McDonald’s a few blocks from her apartment for the past three months, earning $7.25 an hour. Her schedule varies, but she never gets close to 40 hours a week. “Forty? Never. They refuse to let you get to that (many) hours.”

Her weekly paycheck is $150 or much lower. “One of my paychecks, I only got $71 on there. So I wasn’t able to do much with that. My daughter needs stuff, I need to get stuff for my apartment,” said Davis, who plans to take part in the strike Thursday.

She pays the rent with public assistance but struggles to afford food, diapers, subway and taxi fares, cable TV and other expenses with her paycheck.

“It’s really hard,” she said. “If I didn’t have public assistance to help me out, I think I would have been out on the street already with the money I make at McDonald’s.”

McDonald’s Corp. and Burger King Worldwide Inc. say that they don’t make decisions about pay for the independent franchisees that operate the majority of their U.S. restaurants.

For the restaurants it does own, McDonald’s said in a statement that pay starts at minimum wage but the range goes higher, depending on the employee’s position and experience level. It said that raising entry-level wages would mean higher overall costs, which could result in higher prices on menus.

“That would potentially have a negative impact on employment and business growth in our restaurants, as well as value for our customers,” the company said in a statement.

The Wendy’s Co. and Yum Brands Inc., which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, did not respond to a request for comment.

The National Restaurant Association says the low wages reflect the fact that most fast-food workers tend to be younger and have little work experience. Scott DeFife, a spokesman for the group, says that doubling wages would hurt job creation, noting that fast-food chains are already facing higher costs for ingredients, as well as new regulations that will require them to pay more in health care costs.

Still, the actions are striking a chord in some corners.

Robert Reich, a worker advocate and former Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration, said that the struggles of living on low wages is hitting close to home for many because of the weak economic climate.

“More and more, people are aware of someone either in their wider circle of friends or extended family who has fallen on hard times,” Reich said.

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which is providing the fast-food strikes with financial support and training, said the actions in recent months show that fast-food workers can be mobilized, despite the industry’s relatively higher turnover rates and younger age.

“The reality has totally blown through the obstacles,” she said

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This is a gps phone map of Mickey D’s in England. Can you imagine they have this many outlets in one country the size of Great Britain ? We know that their international locations provide Mickey D’s with more appeal, according to the latest market stats that we saw on BBC.

Clearly this means that the average UK Citizen is eating Mickey D’s as much as most Americans. That’s not good and this is why the French Chefs association had a protest last month. They said the way fast food hurts the body, it should be illegal.

The French Chefs asked that before anymore fast food outlets be licensed; that they be voted on. We think that’s a very intelligent approach to tackling a problem from the business end. America could take a lesson from this.

We wondered how the average American citizen would see this. Then we remembered the statistic, that most average American families eat out at a fast food outlet; at least 3 times a week.

This in itself is quite a thought. If the fast food workers are feeding you but can’t afford to eat themselves, how humane is this ? Mickey D’s is one of the biggest corporate vultures on the planet .

to quote the strikers -

Fast food workers strike! Keep the burgers, keep the fries, make our wages super sized!

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Fast Food Workers Will Strike In Los Angeles → laist.com activismlosangeles:

The picketers are scheduled to protest on Aug. 29 at McDonald’s locations. Wendy’s and Taco Bell are also potential targets.

6 am: South LA 10 am: Santa Monica & Western 4 pm: Westside

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While doing some reading on the whole situation we discovered that Mickey D’s had the nerve to develop a set of financial guidance pages for it’s underpaid employees. The purpose of the site is supposedly to help them to learn how to manage all that money they don’t make. Dig This,

based on an average minimum wage of about $7.50 per hour, you’re never going to get to enjoy all the amenities of your “$600 per month” apartment—which, given you’re only paying “$50 per month” for heat, you probably don’t want to spend much time in anyway from November through March.

No, there’s not a lot of time to kick back in your modern-day tenement in this budget, because you’re apparently working almost 70 hours a week.

Want more free time? Well, if you rely solely on your income from McDonald’s, you end up with about $300 at the end of the month, once you factor in the website’s lowball estimates for housing, car payment and utilities (not to mention the pie-in-the-sky $20 per month “health insurance” you supposedly qualify for).

That’s right: $300 per month to pay for such necessities as gas, clothing and—oh, you know—food.

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Mickey D’s should know better than to try to explain a way out of their corporate plantation strategy for employees. There is basically no excuse, for them to be giving away money in games and prizes for Monopoly; if their workers are the ones funding it.

This is not funny and Ronald is not fooling around. They drive their slow months with these contests, mostly with those $1.00 drinks. Yuppp a cup of stupid.

New York’s Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, is looking into the labor practices at a number of franchises and a fast-food parent company. The Attorney General “is examining whether employers paid less than minimum wage, did not pay overtime, failed to reimburse employees for work-related expenses or falsified payroll records.”

Not being paid time-and-a-half for overtime hours and not being reimbursed for delivery-vehicle-related expenses (employees drive their own cars or bicycles) are two forms of wage theft outlined in Fast Food Forward’s report.

and then there’s this piece which breaks it down to the points that makes this every ones’ Fight.

Workers from various fast-food chains are striking in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Flint, MI, making today the largest such labor action in American history. Following controversy over McDonald’s “financial advice” to employees, an opinion piece by Mark Bittman in the New York Times, and a damning report by the National Employment Law Project, today’s strike is not only the largest in number, but may very well be the most squarely positioned within the zeitgeist. The conversation about the societal ills of fast food are shifting away from calories and fat and is increasingly focused on labor.

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With more than half of jobs that pay between $15 to $20 per hour killed by the Great Recession, a larger pool of older workers—people with families and economic responsibilities that outweigh those of the clichéd burger-flipping high-school kid—are looking for jobs in the $170 billion fast-food industry. But the grand majority of employees—89.1 percent, according to the NELP report—earn a median hourly wage of just $8.94.

Writing for Salon, Josh Eidelson reports on the new wave of strikes and the worker’s demands for a starting wage of $15 per hour and the opportunity to form a union without retaliation.

“I know you’re tired of suffering,” KFC employee Naquasia LeGrand told fellow workers gathered with clergy and politicians at a rally last Wednesday announcing that New York City worker-activists had voted to strike this week. “I don’t want to see the next generation suffering and suffering. I don’t want my kids suffering. I want to make sure they have a better future than I do.” Looking out on a crowd of about 150 at the entrance to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, LeGrand added, “So if I want that to happen, I need you guys to stand with me just as long as I’m standing with you.”

Eidelson also spoke to Domino’s vice president Tim McIntyre about the growing labor movement. Citing upward mobility, McInteyre said, “We don’t believe unions are necessary for our brand…”

Related stories on TakePart

Even Detroit which is the home to American unionization is experiencing this labor stoppage. The largest Fast Food Worker strike in history happened in Detroit in late July. It helped to kick of a national movement, which is culminating in todays nationwide walkout.

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In the introduction to a petition on detroit15.org, a group involved in organizing the walkout, the impetus for the strike is laid out in more detail

Our employers—thriving corporations like McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Dollar Tree, Little Caesar’s, Domino’s, Long John Silver’s and others—are making billions of dollars, but they pay us poverty wages as we struggle with our coworkers to support our families and cover our basic needs.

More than 400 workers have walked off the job today, making the Detroit action the largest fast-food strike in American history. Furthermore, this is the first strike to take place in a “right-to-work” state.

With their low pay and limited benefits, fast-food jobs are by no means ideal employment. And while working for minimum wage and no healthcare may be perfect for the proverbial burger-flipping high school student, that clichéd notion of a fast-food employee is increasingly dated. The median age of fast-food workers is 28, and that number skews four years older for women, who make up two-thirds of the workforce. Rent, utilities, car payments, groceries, childcare and other financial responsibilities have to be covered with an annual average annual salary of just $18,810.

The growing momentum of these fast-food strikes suggests that a new approach to labor actions may be gaining traction and proving successful. Reporting on the Detroit strike for The Nation, Josh Eidelson writes,

Along with a shared significant supporter—SEIU—the campaigns in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit have apparent strategies in common. Rather than waiting until they’ve built support from a majority of a store’s or company’s workers, they stage actions by a minority of the workforce designed to inspire their co-workers. Rather than publicly identifying the campaign and its organizers with a single international union, these union-funded efforts turn to allied community groups to spearhead organizing. Rather than training all their resources on a single company, they organize against all of the industry’s players at once.

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We will be continuing to watch this explode, and wondering when the White House will find time to help the workers Have It Their Way. There is no need to spend time or money contemplating killing people in Syria; when you have an entire nation of workers begging for help all across this country.

Mr Obama we know you say you’re concerned with the plight of the middle class; so show us by standing up for those who are existing on unlivable wages, still today fifty (50) years after MLK’s March on Washington for Poverty and Jobs.

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Remember those who have lost everything because of the effects of weather based catastrophes. Stop giving the money for children’s breakfast programs to build weapons of war. Instead embark on a new career of sowing gardens of prosperity and peace from sea to shining sea.

Make this a place where your two daughters will be able to sit at the tablee with other little girls from Chicago; without feat of being gunned down for just being there.

Mr. Obama Lead America back to a place of peace and prosperity. Please lay down the war tools and pick up tools of progress. Rebuild the nation of your birth, so that those children who will come after you will be proud to say they are Americans, All.

That Mr Obama would be the Best Happy Meal of All Times,

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