Fast food worker: We want $15 an hour and a union
- August 2, 2013
- David Neumark, economics Chancellor's Professor and Center for Economics & Public Policy director, is interviewed on Boston NPR August 2, 2013
Union organizers say a series of rolling one-day walkouts by fast food workers in seven U.S. cities constitute the single largest employee action in the history of the industry. Thousands of workers from two dozen chains are calling for the right to unionize and higher wages — $15 an hour. That’s twice what many workers in the industry currently make, and well above the current median rate of $9.05 per hour. The campaign started in New York about eight months ago. It’s backed by workers groups and has received millions of dollars from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Critics of the labor action say the workers should get another job if they don’t like their current one. Economists including David Neumark say the demands may be unrealistic. He told Here & Now that a sharp rise in wages would have some benefits, but it would also lead to some job losses.
Audio recording and transcript available at http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/08/02/fast-food-strike.