The ever-liberal, ever-shrinking Los Angeles Times ran an article on an event you missed. On Thursday, August 29, fast-food workers demonstrated in 60 cities against low pay. They said the minimum wage is not high enough. They want $15 per hour.
I loved the first paragraph.
LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK — In the aftermath of the recession, hundreds of workers in low-wage industries have tried to call attention to how difficult it is to survive on the minimum wage.
Hundreds of workers. Yes, hundreds. In a nation of 159 million workers. Why, it’s a mass protest!
When you work for the L. A. Times, grabbing at straws is consistent with your career prospects.
Thursday might have been their biggest effort yet.
Fast-food workers in an estimated 60 cities protested outside 1,000 stores, turning out at the crack of dawn to call for union representation and a wage of $15 an hour. Organizers of the effort, bankrolled largely by the SEIU and promoted by a slew of community groups, said it was the largest protest ever to hit the fast-food industry.
No one noticed the biggest effort yet.
Teenagers used to dominate fast-food jobs. Now, many older workers, out of a job because of the stagnant economy, have gravitated toward the industry. They’re ripe for organizing because they’ve seen the economy improve around them while their pay has remained the same and they continue to work without benefits.
When adults are so desperate for work that they replace teenagers, I don’t think they are ripe for organizing efforts. They are ripe for food stamps if they walk out in protest.
This is good news for the SEIU and other labor groups, which have faced years of declining membership. Unions are finding that fast-food workers are all too happy to protest, figuring that their jobs are bad enough that if they lose them from protesting, they haven’t lost much.
What percentage of fast-food workers are we talking about here? Maybe 0.3%? Maybe 0.1%. The industry employs 3.5 million workers.
It’s inspirational. Liberal university professors still sing the songs of their youth — the 1960s — which had been irrelevant ever since 1942.
“Marx said, ‘Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains,’ and when it comes to fast-food workers, they really have nothing to lose,” said Nelson Lichtenstein, a UC Santa Barbara labor expert. “There’s no career prospects from a fast-food restaurant, high turnover, unpredictable hours.”
A full professor’s salary at the University of California, Santa Barbara averages over $140,000 a year if he is male. (Females don’t do quite so well.) Taxpayers fund this.
There were marches on Thursday. You didn’t know this? Your local TV station news team forget to mention this?
The marches, happening just before Labor Day, extended to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and many other urban centers. California was a hotbed of protests, with events in Berkeley, Fremont, Oakland, San Diego and elsewhere.
Yes, my friends, there are pro-union workers in Berkeley. It’s a real hotbed. And Fremont and Oakland, too — cities noted for their lack of jobs.
Arne L. Kalleberg, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, put in his two cents’ worth. He labors for justice at a tax-funded university that pays him $223,000 a year.
“These protests are a cry for help,” he said. “It’s a microcosm of a larger phenomenon. It reflects the growing frustration of these folks who have for a long time seen the gap between what they’re earning and the tons of money the corporations and the CEOs are making.”
And so it goes in the world of tax-funded liberalism.