The primary demand of the protests, scheduled for May 19, is an increase in the minimum wage.
Employees of the fast-food restaurant chain in major U.S. cities are preparing to go on mass strike. The planned date of the protests is May 19, and the organizers chose this date because the next day, the company holds its annual shareholder's meeting, and the protests could affect the decisions made by the management.
The protesters say the primary demand for the company is to raise wages. McDonald's workers are asking to increase their minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The strike comes amid a severe labor shortage in the restaurant industry, which is beginning to recover from the painful effects of the pandemic. McDonald's restaurants are now in the process of hiring thousands of employees as they prepare to serve a growing stream of customers during the busy summer season.
Responding to employee grievances, the company circulated an email message stressing that setting minimum wages is the government's prerogative. The letter also contained assurances that the company is ready for dialogue and putting workers' interests first.
The McDonald's workers' strike is part of a giant Fight for $15 movement in the United States. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour as early as 2025 is just one of U.S. President Joe Biden's promises.
Fight for $15 aims to raise the minimum hourly wage, which is opposed by large companies, fearing that such a move will lead to higher costs. "McDonald's is taking a dual position on the issue. The company previously said it was ending its lobbying process against federal wage increases. Still, it remains a member of the National Restaurant Association and the International Franchise Association, which continue to oppose the increases. Another problem for the company is that more than 90 percent of its restaurants are franchised, which means raising wages will be made separately by each operator, making the process much more difficult.
Photo credit: depositphotos.com.