Charleston fast food workers asking for $15.00 per hour and unio - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Charleston fast food workers asking for $15.00 per hour and union rights as walkout looms

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On Thursday Charleston fast food workers are expected to join those in several other cities across the country in a walkout.

They are demanding better pay, benefits and the ability to unionize without punishment inside an industry where billions are served.

If you want to "Have it your way" you may not be "Lovin' it" on Thursday; with the cliché fast food slogans aside, fast food workers participating in this possible walkout will have  a pretty tall order to fill.

Charleston Attorney William Hamilton who is representing the local workers for Thursday's walkout is optimistic, saying federal law trumps state.

"The federal law is the same for every state in the union. The state of South Carolina has no right to overrule the federally established rights of people to organize themselves at their place of work."

Workers from restaurants like McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King here in Charleston and other cities across the country are asking for a bump in pay to $15.00 an hour.

They also want to unionize without retaliation by their employers but when comes to pro-business, anti-union efforts, the Palmetto State is super-sized.

News 2 contacted the big chains on Tuesday to allow them to dispute employee clams or comment on the possible walkout and they served up a very diplomatic fare--

"McDonald's and our owner-operators are committed to providing our employees with opportunities to succeed.  We offer employees advancement opportunities, competitive pay and benefits.  And we invest in training and professional development."

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"We [Wendy's] are proud to provide a place where thousands of people, who come to us asking for a job, can enter the workforce at a starting wage, gain skills and advance with us or move on to something else." 

Workers and others like Hamilton believe when it comes to improving labor conditions, pay and benefits, the well fed fast food industry may be starving for attention.

Hamilton offered a, tough love, rallying cry for those who say it could never happen in South Carolina.

"If they like working for seven-twenty-five an hour with no benefits they can sit exactly where they are and do nothing."

 

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