Boston fast food workers participate in nationwide minimum wage protests

Fast food workers strike Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, outside a Dorchester Burger King. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
Fast food workers strike Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, outside a Dorchester Burger King. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Boston fast food workers walked off their jobs Thursday as part of a national strike calling for a $15 minimum wage.

Fast-food workers in hundreds of cities across the United States kicked off a day of strikes and rallies on Thursday to demand a higher living wage.

Workers want the federal minimum wage raised to $15 from $7.25, saying the current rate is not enough to live on. Critics counter that doubling the minimum wage would cost jobs, forcing employers to cut back on the number of workers.

More than 42,010 Bay State fast-food workers earn a median wage of $9.30 an hour, according to protest organizers, Mass Uniting.

Thursday’s demonstrations come after protests held on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, by Walmart workers at about 1,500 U.S. stores. There were also strikes by fast-food workers in dozens of cities in August.

Fast-food workers say that today’s minimum wage is not adjusted to inflation, as Congress has done since the first minimum wage was set in 1938.

They say they are forced to rely on federal aid to support themselves and their families.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and public benefit programs show 52 percent of fast-food cooks, cashiers and other staff relied on at least one form of public assistance, such as Medicaid, food stamps or the Earned Income Tax Credit program, between 2007 and 2011, according to researchers at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Illinois.

Some economists also argue that increasing the minimum wage could help stimulate the U.S. consumer economy because workers would have more money to spend.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…