Texas fast food workers are expected to participate in job actions at restaurants tomorrow to protest what they say are 'poverty level' wages, Newsradio 1200 WOAI's Berit Mason reports.
Ed Sills of the Teas AFL-CIO says raising fast food wages to $15 an hour, which is the demand of the union-based movement, would improve the quality of life for all Americans.
"If you have to pay more for a Big Mac in order to support higher wages, you're getting something for it," Sills said. "Because it means many more people will be able to spend money in the community. It means businesses in general will do better."
Fast food workers say their industry is the most egregious example of the increasing divide between the 1% of the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the country. They say it takes the CEO's of fast food companies two days to earn what a full time employee earns in an entire year.
David Novak, the CEO of Yum Brands, earned more than $37 million last year, according to Forbes. Yum Brands owns KFC, Long John Silvers, and similar outlets.
"If you want to talk about opportunity in the United States, it starts with a decent wage," Sills said. "The minimum wage is a poverty wage. Children need to get good educations, they need to be fed decently, clothed decently."
He points out that far from having 'no skills,' as detractors claim, many fast food workers are highly skilled. He points out that a fast food worker in Denmark makes the equivalent of $21 an hour, while the price of a Big Mac there is only 60 cents higher than it is in the U.S.
Opponents say the fast food wage effort is only an attempt by U.S. labor unions to boost their flagging representation in the private sector.