Fast-Food Workers Walk Off the Job at Dozens of East Bay Restaurants

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Workers are walking off the job today at about 30 East Bay fast-food restaurants from Richmond to Fremont as part of a national movement aimed at boosting their pay and benefits, an organizer said.

Beth Trimarco, of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, said the local action is part of a coordinated effort occurring at fast-food restaurants in about 60 cities across the country.

Trimarco said the movement started as a grassroots movement earlier this summer and is now supported by various community groups and religious leaders.

She said most fast-food workers in California only make the minimum wage of $8 an hour and have to make difficult choices between paying for food, rent or child care.

Today's action is calling for workers to be paid at least $15 an hour, to have better benefits and regular schedules, and to have the right to form a union without retaliation, among other demands, Trimarco said.

"We want to lift families out of poverty, and increasing workers' pay will send more money right back into local communities," Trimarco said.

The fast-food restaurants being targeted include McDonald's, KFC, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell and Jack in the Box.

Trimarco said that in some cases, workers are trying to shut down the restaurants where they work.

She said at action at the McDonald's at 2520 East 12th St. in Oakland this morning didn't completely shut down the restaurant but slowed its business, partly because potential customers were deterred from going to the drive-through lane.

Trimarco said there will be other actions at the KFC at 470 Lake Park Ave. in Oakland at 11 a.m. and at the McDonald's at 640 Hegenberger Road at 4:30 p.m. today.

She said she expects hundreds of people to participate in those events.

 

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