Fast-Food Strikes Hit 6 Continents Today

Higher-wages movement looks to hit 30 other countries

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted May 15, 2014 11:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you want it your way, it might not be right away today. Fast-food industry workers are again striking today, in McDonald's, KFCs, and other chains in some 150 American cities. But the movement for $15 hourly pay is also going global this time, reports the New York Times, targeting 80 cities in more than 30 countries—Casablanca, Dublin, Seoul, and Venice among them—and ultimately hitting six continents, USA Today reports. "It’s a global economy, so they’re saying, ‘Why not go overseas to make it into a global fight?'" says a labor relations professor at Cornell. "They’re trying to create a global protest movement."

American strikers claimed some early successes, saying that the walk-off forced a few locations to close, including a Burger King in Massachusetts, while service was delayed in others. Those reports were denied by Burger King and McDonald's, which said they just called in managers to fill the gap. The National Restaurant Association was predictably derisive of the strike, dismissing it as "big labor's attempt to push their own agenda" by "demonizing" chains instead of focusing on more "education and job training opportunities," the AP reports. In happier fast-food news, Chipotle is rolling out cups that come complete with original works by the likes of Jonathan Safran Foer.

Burger King employee Keisha King, 23, stands during a protest outside a Krispy Kreme store, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Calling for higher pay and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food chain workers in Atlanta protested Thursday as part of a wave of strikes and protests...
Burger King employee Keisha King, 23, stands during a protest outside a Krispy Kreme store, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Calling for higher pay and the right to form a union without retaliation,...   (David Goldman)
Krispy Kreme employee Beverly Ford, rear, looks on as demonstrators enter the store during a protest, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Calling for higher pay and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food chain workers in Atlanta protested Thursday as part of a wave of strikes and...
Krispy Kreme employee Beverly Ford, rear, looks on as demonstrators enter the store during a protest, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Calling for higher pay and the right to form a union without retaliation,...   (David Goldman)
A protester dressed as Ronald McDonald participates in a rally to demand higher wages for fast-food workers outside a McDonald restaurant in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 15, 2014. About 30 labor union members joined the global action to ask higher pay for part-time workers.
A protester dressed as Ronald McDonald participates in a rally to demand higher wages for fast-food workers outside a McDonald restaurant in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 15, 2014. About 30 labor...   (Ahn Young-joon)
Ann Mauney holds a sign for passing motorists as she demonstrates with fast food workers and supporters during a protest outside a Krispy Kreme store, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Calling for higher pay and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food chain workers in Atlanta protested...
Ann Mauney holds a sign for passing motorists as she demonstrates with fast food workers and supporters during a protest outside a Krispy Kreme store, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Calling for higher...   (David Goldman)
Fast food workers and supporters protest low wages outside a Krispy Kreme store, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Calling for higher pay and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food chain workers in Atlanta protested Thursday as part of a wave of strikes and protests in 150...
Fast food workers and supporters protest low wages outside a Krispy Kreme store, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Calling for higher pay and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food...   (David Goldman)
McDonald's employee Connie Ogletree, 55, right, leads a group of fast food workers and supporters in a chant during a protest outside a Krispy Kreme store, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta.
McDonald's employee Connie Ogletree, 55, right, leads a group of fast food workers and supporters in a chant during a protest outside a Krispy Kreme store, Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Atlanta.   (David Goldman)
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