Fast-food workers nationwide strike for $15 minimum wage

Fast-food workers nationwide strike for $15 minimum wage
© Getty Images

Fast-food workers in 15 cities around the country will be walking out Friday in a strike for the federal government to increase the national minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

The strike is being organized by Fight for $15 and a union.

Fast-food workers are going on strike January 15, on what would be MLK's 92nd birthday, to demand $15/hr and the right to a union! Workers will not back down until everyone makes at least $15!” Fight for $15 tweeted.


The group, which is backed by Service Employees International Union, has a petition on its website urging President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House will vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears MORE and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisCollins: Biden's .9T coronavirus package won't get any Senate GOP votes House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill Biden's immigration bill could wreck his majority, but Democrats have opportunity to do the right thing MORE to prioritize minimum wage in their first 100 days in office. 

The petition demands a $15 federal minimum wage, easier rules to join a union, a focus on racial justice, affordable health care, and holding companies accountable for “their failure to protect essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.”

"They want to send a message to both the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to prioritize passing $15 an hour (legislation) in the first 100 days,'' Allynn Umel, organizing director of Fight for $15 and a Union, told USA Today.


Some of the strikes will take place on Zoom or in car caravans. 

“I make just $10 an hour working at McDonald's in Memphis, and it's nowhere near enough to cover basic necessities every month for me and my baby daughter,” a McDonald’s worker going on strike Friday wrote in an op-ed for Business Insider. 

Many argue that an increase to a $15 minimum wage could harm small businesses, especially during the pandemic when they've already been struggling. There are some states that are planning to increase their minimum wage in 2021.