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Whoa! Hundreds of NYC fast food workers strike today

"We can't survive on $7.25 an hour."

Hundreds of fast food workers in New York City are walking off the job right now to protest poverty wages. It's the 45th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination while supporting a sanitation workers' strike in Memphis. They're carrying signs that evoke that watershed moment with the words "I Am A Man."

Steven Greenhouse at the New York Times quoted Jonathan Westin, executive director of New York Communities for Change:

We believe that it’s a continuation of a civil rights fight against low wages and for Martin Luther King’s movement to win dignity and living-wage jobs.

Reuters reports:

Employees from familiar chains such as McDonald's Corp, Wendy's and Yum Inc's KFC are seeking to roughly double their hourly pay to $15. They also say they want the right to form a union without intimidation or retaliation.

Winning such concessions will be difficult. Low-wage, low-skill workers lack political clout and face significantly higher unemployment than college graduates. 

As many as 400 workers from more than five dozen restaurants around New York City have committed to turn out for protests planned at various locations, said Jonathan Westin, director of Fast Food Forward, which organized Thursday's actions and is backed by labor, community and religious groups. 

That turnout would be twice as large as in November, when the city's fast-food workers also walked off the job, Westin said.

The Guardian reports the workers are paid so little money they have to choose between food and transportation. Naquasia Legrand told the newspaper:

You have to decide whether to feed your family or get a Metrocard so you can go to work. Or you have to choose between paying your rent or feeding your child. 

You can show your support for the workers by signing a petition here.

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