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Fast-food workers hold protest requesting better wages

12.19.14

DECEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Fast-food workers hold protest requesting better wages

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 4th- The national campaign by fast-food workers, mostly at McDonald’s Restaurants, to push for higher wages has yet to reach Northeastern Pennsylvania. Recent worker protests throughout the nation including in Philadelphia marked the one-year anniversary of the fast-food workers effort to raise their wages. Organizers stated that the recent protests were held in more than 150 cities throughout the nation.

In the spring, a new labor organization was formed to attempt to organize fast-food workers throughout the United States.

The New York City based “Fast Food Workers Committee” Union filed with the United States Department of Labor (DOL), in Washington DC to be recognized as a labor organization that wants to represent workers employed within the fast-food industry including those working for McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts.

The Union comes into existence after reports indicated that some McDonald’s franchise owners violated the Federal Fair Standards Act (FLSAct) or have paid their workers through debit cards, which required the employees pay bank penalties for transactions.

In February, the DOL announced that former McDonald’s franchisee Cheubg Enterprises LLC, based in Middletown, Pennsylvania, agreed to pay more than $205,900 in back wages and liquidated damages to 291 employees.

A investigation by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company violated the minimum wage and overtime provisions of FLSAct at the company’s six locations in central Pennsylvania.

Investigators from the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division in Wilkes-Barre investigated the complaint and found the violations of the FLSAct.

In Philadelphia, several hundred union members of labor organizations from the region joined the fast-food workers protest.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is supporting a national campaign called “Fast Food Forward” which includes calling for McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants to pay their workers a “living wage.”

The newspaper is not aware of any participation of any fast-food worker in the protests in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Several other unions, including the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union is also supporting the unionization of the workers and their attempt to earn a higher living wage.