Fast food workers around the world to strike on May 15


is there currently a union for these folks? cause it seems to me like they are merely walking out on their jobs. Which, in the real world, usually means you’re going to be replaced.

Great to see some sign of life from the labor movement.

As a point of fact, I believe that settlement was for 500k, not 1B.

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That’s the response I got when I complained about my first job.

No they don’t have a union, but thousands walked out in New York last year and less than 10 people were fired, most of whom got their jobs back when their fellow employees demanded it.

If you have enough of the workforce acting in solidarity, you have real power even without a contract (you need real power get a contract in the first place…).

Fast Food Forward is supported by coalition of different unions, but nothing concrete has emerged in terms of elections or card checks. If the workers win $15/hr., that would be a hell of a step back from the brink for the labor movement, even if they don’t win contracts just yet.


Is there something those of us who don’t work in the fast food industry can do to support them? I suppose there’s not going to a fast food restaurant that day, but chances are I wouldn’t that day anyway. I’d like to do something substantial.


At least immediately. Somehow I have no doubt that plenty of those folks were weeded out for minor infractions (say clocking in 1 minute late) which would have otherwise been overlooked.

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This is absolutely wonderful news for automation engineers.


One good thing that Ralph Nader accomplished in 2000, was draw attention to the Taft Hartley act, which makes it illegal for fast food workers to organize.

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Last time around Fast Food Forward was taking donations for lost wages. Helping someone who doesn’t make enough money to survive recoup a bit of the financial cost of doing something incredibly brave is pretty substantial.


Automation is great. What automation means is that the economy makes more money with less work.

If you automate 75% of the jobs in a country with 0% unemployment, that means that everyone can work a 10 hour week at the same rate of pay they were previously getting for 40 hours. This is what every intelligent economist was predicting 80 or 90 years ago. They were totally right about productivity per hour worked skyrocketing, but they were wrong about owners willingness to share the gains with workers.

It’s only bad if you assume that it’s impossible for ordinary folks to get a piece of the action.

Yes, it does mean we’ll have to riot, but hey, there’s a lot to be gained.


There are unions they could join, but it’s almost impossible to convert any individual location from non-union to union. Anyone trying to get co-workers to go union would almost certainly be fired on some random pretext the instant management found out about it, and the companies as a whole would mostly prefer to shut down a given branch than let it go union.
Not to mention that the folks on the top end of the food chain have done everything they could to give unions a bad name over the last half-century or so. A lot of workers actually think unions are bad things…


Help them learn skills that can’t be easily replaced by a machine?

That will work wonderfully, considering our current multi-million position surplus of jobs just waiting to be filled.


I support this so hard.

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And who pays for that automation? Replacing a worker on an assembly line with a robot requires a fairly large upfront cost and has to be returned over years of use. The other workers don’t magically get that portion of the now missing workers pay just because a robot suddenly appeared.

The reality is that people are still cheap and very useful compared to automation for a great deal of tasks.

We could do with a few fast food closures in the US. Permanently.

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And they’ll get even cheaper as they get more and more desperate.


Except that it’s far more expensive to hire four people each working ten-hour weeks than it is to hire one person working forty. This is only partially accidental.

Hopefully they’ll all get fired so they can do something productive with their lives instead of helping people poison themselves.