mcdonalds strike

McDonald’s Strike



brace retailer stepping stone
afford right (3) part-time job
union chain (2) make a point
picket strike (2) take to the streets
federal bill (3) starvation
among full-time punch the clock
instead take care minimum wage
supply poverty alternate
ethics automate work ethic
penny walk off point out





Retailers and fast-food chains are bracing for strikes in 50 cities today.

Workers say they can’t afford to live on what they are getting paid. They’re asking for more money, and the right to form unions.

To make their point, they’re setting up picket lines. Let’s bring in Christine Romans to figure out the situation. “What do we see here?”

We call it “Do you want fries without economy guys?”, the jobs market where thousands of Americans are working part-time, not as a stepping stone to something else — but as a career.

“Keep your burgers, keep your fries, make our wages supersize.”

Protests like this one, last month, in St. Louis expected to spread to fifty American cities today. Workers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and other fast food restaurants will again take to the streets to protest what they call, “starvation wages”.

Fast food workers make around $9 an hour, or just over $18,500 a year. That’s below the national poverty level of $23,000 a year for a family of four.

They want $15 and hour, double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. And they want the right to unionize.

These are among the fastest growing jobs. And low pay is not new, but due to the part-time economy, 8.2 million Americans who would rather have a full-time job, are punching the clock part-time instead.

“It’s very, very, very, difficult because I have to choose between taking care of my family sometimes and paying the bill.”

“Sometimes my husband eats and I don’t; and sometimes *I* eat and my husband don’t. We have to alternate like that because we can’t eat every day and still supply for our children.”

Restaurants say their wages are fair. The National Restaurant Association told us “These jobs teach valuable skills and a strong work ethic that are useful for workers throughout their professional careers.”

Retail workers are joining the food fight now. Some employees from Macy’s, Dollar Tree, and Sears also expected to walk off the job today.

Now these workers say they don’t think you should have to pay a penny more for your Big Mac; they think it’s the corporate profits where the extra wages could come from. And they point out that McDonald’s for example, had a profit last year of $5.5 billion.

But you hear different people inside the industry say, “you start raising wages, you automate more; you lose more jobs.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *



1. Who are going on strike? Why are the workers going on strike?

2. The strike is taking place in only one city. True or false? Are only fast-food employees going on strike?

3. What are “starvation wages”? “Make our wages supersize.” What does this mean? What is the average wage of fast-food workers? What is the minimum wage? What are they asking for or demanding?

4. The fast-food workers want to work part-time. Is this right or wrong? Is it easy to get a full-time job and career?

5. The fast-food employees often have families. Is this correct or wrong? Do they make sacrifices?

6. Are the restaurants sympathetic to their workers? Yes, no, both, in-between?

7. Can McDonald’s afford to pay higher wages? If fast-food restaurants pay higher wages . . . .
A. There are many fast-food restaurants in my city. True or false?

B. Who works in McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants?

C. Do you agree with the striking employees, the managers, both, in-between?

D. What should the strikers or workers do? They should . . . .

E. Are strikes common in your city, or are they rare?

F. What will happen in the future?




Share Button

Email this page

Comments are closed.