How Lobbying Keeps Fast-Food Workers’ Wages Low

Today, in a 100-city strike wave nationwide, thousands of fast food workers are protesting for a livable wage of $15 dollars an hour and a right to form a union without retaliation.

How has the wage been kept this low?

Well, the millions in lobbying expenditures from The National Restaurant Association has spent has surely helped. As Steven Rosenfield at Alternet writes, 

In June, the NRA boasted that its lobbyists had stopped minimum wage increases in 27 out of 29 states in 2013. In Connecticut, which increased its state minimum wage, a raise in the base pay for tipped workers such as waitresses and bartenders vanished in the final bill. A similar scenario unfolded in New York State: It increased its minimum wage, but the NRA’s last-minute lobbying derailed raising the pre-tip wage at restaurants and bars. The deals came despite polls showing 80 percent support for raising the minimum wage.

The NRA’s lobbying didn’t stop there. It also told members that it blocked a dozen states this year from passing laws that would require earned paid sick leave, which is what New York City and Portland, Oregon adopted. Meanwhile, it boasted that six states, including Florida, passed NRA-backed laws that preemptively ban localities from granting earned and paid employee sick time.

Read the entire article here.

 

Photo Credit: Annette Bernhardt

 

 

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