Supersize This: Fast-food Employees Worldwide Go on One-day Strike

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McDonald's worker Selmira Wilson on strike in Miami, May 15, 2014.Credit: AP

Fast-food workers in some 80 cities worldwide joined those in about 150 U.S. urban centers in a global strike Thursday to demand a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, Time magazine reported.

The strike was a rare case of employees turning globalization to their advantage: As American unions grow smaller and weaker, fast-food employees appealed to their counterparts overseas to join the "Fight for $15" and amplify their strength vs. this global industry.

“We’re here to get $15 and a union, we’re here to strike, we’re here to make some noise and we’re here to disrupt because that’s the only way to get their attention,” Taco Bell employee Chad Tall said in the midst of other striking fast-food workers outside a McDonald’s in New York. Overseas, strikes were held in Tokyo, Auckland, Dublin, Casablanca and numerous other cities.

“Fast-food workers in many other parts of the world face the same corporate policies—low pay, no guaranteed hours and no benefits,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union.

In the United States, the median wage for fast-food employees is $9 an hour; the federal minimum hourly wage is $7.25.

The U.S. fast-food workers' movement has been spreading since November 29, 2012, when over 100 workers in New York walked off the job at McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Papa John's and Pizza Hut.

One country where fast-workers were not reported to be striking was Israel, where the movement is just getting started. Last month workers at Domino's and Pizza Hut said they were forming unions, and while Pizza Hut said it would recognize the collective bargaining unit, Domino's is balking.

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