Last month, more than 100 fast food workers in Detroit picketed outside restaurants singing “Hey hey, ho ho, $7.40 has got to go!” One-day labor walkouts were planned at fast food restaurants in 100 cities, with protests in scores more cities and towns across the nation. Organizers are pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage and higher wages in the industry. An advocate for income equality says he is encouraged by the nationwide effort but isn’t expecting major changes.
Recently, Pope Francis and President Obama have each spoken out against growing income inequality. The President expressed support for a Democratic proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Despite the growing concern surrounding economic disparities, the pushback against the increase is strong. Fast food is a price-sensitive business and the industry claims it would be difficult to significantly increase wages. Labor Secretary Tom Perez weighed in on the side of the protesters in his blog, stating:
To reward work, to grow the middle class and strengthen the economy, to give millions of Americans the respect they deserve — it’s time to raise the minimum wage.
Hopefully, Congress will increase the minimum wage. It’s the morally correct thing to do. But based on past history, it will be a very tough battle. I believe it’s one that we can ill-afford to lose.
Source: USA Today
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