Fast food workers strike for better wages

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Workers at East Bay fast food restaurant chains — and throughout the nation — staged strikes, walkouts and rallies Thursday to demand increased wages, benefits and hours.

The workers, most who earn minimum wage, asked fast food companies to raise their wages to  a minimum of $15 per hour. On Thursday, they planned to walk out of 37 businesses, such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC and Burger King, in 10 cities from Richmond to Fremont, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Similar strikes have been occurring for months in New York and other East Coast cities. Activists say the movement was spurred by the challenges of subsisting on minimum wage, for which the national level is $7.25. Notably, no walkouts were planned in San Francisco, which has one of the nation’s most progressive minimum wages at $10.55 per hour.

Fast food companies say raising wages would increase food prices, thereby driving out customers and eventually forcing layoffs, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Contact Jeremy Gordon at [email protected].