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Austin Fast Food Workers To Strike Today

Updated: Thursday, August 29 2013, 06:52 AM CDT
Now to a heads-up this morning: if you’re planning to pick up lunch at a drive-through later Thursday, you may come up empty-handed. In just a few hours, fast food workers across the country, including right here in Austin, plan to walk off the job.

The walk-off later Thursday is expected to involve workers here in Austin and in more than 50 cities across the country, workers who say in many instances, they’re barely scraping by while fast food restaurants are making record profits.

Their demands: $15 an hour and the right to form a union without fear of retaliation. This strike is being called the largest ever strike against the $200 billion fast food industry. More than 28,000 fast food workers call Austin home, according to organizers.

Their median wage? $8.83 per hour. But according to an study by an MIT professor, $19.56 per hour is what an adult with one child working full time needs just to afford the basics in Austin.

"Now it's just ridiculous,” said Quincy Anderson, a former fast food worker. “I mean there ain't no way in the world they can live off that. That's why you have to have a roommate. You know most of them have roommates cause they don't make enough money to have their own apartment."

Thursday’s strike will cover more than 50 cities across the country, including Dallas and Houston.

The Austin rally begins at noon at MLK and Guadalupe and is expected to include workers from Wendy’s, Long John Silvers, and Jack in the Box, along with State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), the Workers Defense Project, and other officials and community members from as far as San Antonio.

Protestors plan to march to the corner of Guadalupe and 27th.

Austin Fast Food Workers To Strike Today

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