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

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.