Wisconsin joins in Dec. 5 strikes for living wages

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Fast Food Forward demonstrates outside a NYC McDonald's Dec. 5.

Fast-food workers across the country are going on strike today (Dec. 5) to demand better wages. Strikes are taking place in more than 130 cities in the United States.

A statement from Fast Food Forward said, “Workers will go on strike in every region of the continental United States and will be joined by supporters rallying in an additional 100 cities, as the fight for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation continues to grow. Workers are expected to strike at the nation’s major national fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC.”

Wisconsin is joining in the campaign, with minimum-wage workers and their allies demonstrating in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay and elsewhere.

Also, Wisconsin Jobs Now is circulating a petition calling for a living wage for workers in Milwaukee.

The petition states: “Milwaukee was once a bastion of the middle class. Sadly, over the last 30 years, good-paying jobs have been replaced by low-wage service sector positions that trap 196,000 Milwaukee-area workers in poverty. It doesn't have to be this way - especially since a large number of these jobs are paid for with public tax dollars.

“Milwaukee must lead the way in the fight for good jobs. We urge our elected officials to take action to raise wages, because workers should be paid enough so that they can raise a family without public assistance.

“Let's ensure that public resources are used to create good jobs.”

Meanwhile, inside the Beltway, the president on Dec. 4 restated his call for raising the minimum wage in a speech on economic mobility and income inequality.

Some members of Congress also called for better wages, including in their focus a plea for companies to do better by their employees. Fifty-three members of Congress wrote to McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson stating, “Too many hardworking families are being forced to depend on poverty-level wages. Paying fair wages and putting more spending money in the hands of consumers will strengthen our economy.”

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