Local fast-food workers participating in nationwide strike
Denise Wong & Joyce Lupiani
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Fast-food workers around the country are staging strikes today for higher wages.
Employees are striking across the nation at restaurants such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, KFC, and Taco Bell.
Locally, there are three strikes planned. The first one began early this morning at the McDonald's on Centennial Parkway; the second is scheduled for 10 a.m. at a McDonald's on Paradise Road; and the third will begin at 10:30 a.m. at KFC on South Maryland Parkway.
This isn't the first time fast-food employees have went on strike.
Similar protests have taken place in various cities over the past few months over the so-called "McJobs." Employees say that "McJobs" don't pay enough for them to survive but fast-food companies are raking in the profits.
The fast-food employees that are striking -- which is a fraction of the industry -- say that they deserve $15 and hour, which is double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. They also want the right to form an union.
At $15 an hour, a full-time employee would earn $31,000 per year. A full-time employee receiving $7.25 per hour only makes $15,000 per year.
However, the National Restaurant Association says that discussions about wages "should be based on facts."
According to them, only five percent of fast-food workers earn minimum wage and those that do are mostly working part-time and are usually teenagers.
The median wage is $9.67 an hour. But, employees who are in favor of the wage hike say that is still not enough to survie without public assistance.
The fast food restaurants say that they provide good jobs and ample opportunities for workers looking to rise through the ranks.
Some members of Congress and economists are calling for a hike in the federal minimum wage but most proposals seek a far more modest increase. President Obama has said that he would like to raise the minimum to $9 per hour.
Organizers of the today's protest say the strikes will happen in more than 50 cities. It is the biggest organized effort so far.
Other major cities include Atlanta, New York City, Boston, Denver, Memphis and Los Angeles.
The local strikes are being supported by ProgressNow Nevada Action and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.