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Fast food workers walk off jobs in protest of low pay

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 01:54

May 15 - Fast food workers in New York City protest for higher wages and improved workplace conditions as part of a global demonstration. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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Fast food workers seeking higher wages went on a global strike on Thursday. Protests were planned in 150 cities across the U.S. and in more than 30 countries. These protesters in New York City say fast-food companies are making huge profits by paying them a pittance. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KENDALL FELLS, ORGANIZING DIRECTOR OF FAST FOOD FORWARD, SAYING: "We're sending a message to the fast food industry that fast food workers are fed up with the poverty wages. They're fed up with the irregular hours. They're fed up with being disrespected on the job and, you know, today is the first world-wide strike for fast food workers and we're starting to fight the industry on an international level. And if the industry doesn't respond, then this is going to get bigger and bigger and bigger until they realize that this will not go away and this is not a nightmare, this is reality." McDonald's, the world's biggest restaurant chain by revenue, and Burger King say they pay fair wages. But this protester who works at Kentucky Fried Chicken isn't buying it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAQUASIA LEGRAND, WORKER AT KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN, SAYING: "These are multi-billion dollar companies. We know they're here to make money, we know this is the reason why they have their own business, but they've been here for decades and decades. And it's like, why is it that we're still getting the crumbs of the money when we could be getting a little bit more extra, when we can. We bustin' our butts each and every day and they're making money off of our backs. So now we're going to stand up strong so they can't ride our backs no more." The strike is the latest in a series of protests in the U.S. that have targeted fast-food restaurant operators. It comes at a time when U.S. Democrats have been pushing to raise the federal minimum wage. Union leaders say American fast food workers want fifteen dollars an hour and the right to unionize without retaliation. .

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Fast food workers walk off jobs in protest of low pay

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 01:54