Fast-Food Workers Rally In Oregon

Dec 5, 2013

Multiple cities in Oregon participated in rallies held nationwide Thursday to support pay raises for fast food workers. Similar rallies were held earlier this year. Rob Sisk is with the Service Employees International Union Local 503. He says he hopes union members show up at the rallies.

Sisk: "I think it should attract anybody who is in the philosophy and morals behind the Occupy movement. We need to keep those issues out front and keep going after them, until there's economic justice and parity in this country."

Fast food workers are asking for a pay increase to around $15 dollars an hour. Fast food companies claim such an increase would cause their menu prices to rise substantially, potentially more than consumers want to pay. But, Raahi Reddy with the University of Oregon's Labor Education and Research Center says financially, it's obtainable.  

Reddy: "They can afford to do this. They can afford to pay their workers more when you compare the profits – astronomical profits – that these companies make. So, I think it's a basic thing to ask, is to raise the standard for the workforce that is making millions of dollars in profit for these companies."

Reddy thinks the movement is gaining popularity. Recent research indicated most fast food workers are adults and the main source of income for their families.

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