HALF A MILLION ESSENTIAL WORKERS FEEDING OUR COMMUNITies

Across California, 550,000 fast food workers serve more than 10 million customers every day. These frontline workers are predominantly women, Black, and Latinx. Many of them are single parents trying to support their families, but they make less than $28,000 a year on average and are regularly denied sick leave and other benefits. All workers deserve to be treated fairly under any circumstances, but during a global pandemic, this violation of workers’ basic rights is simply disgraceful.

ON THE FRONTLINES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The crisis has highlighted what we knew to be true all along: that fast-food workers are essential but they get treated like they are expendable. As stay-at-home orders took effect across the state, fast food workers remained on the frontlines to keep our communities fed, even when it put them at risk of contracting COVID-19. 
At the height of a pandemic, workers have been pressured to work while sick, fired for calling in sick, stiffed on the sick pay they’re legally entitled to, and denied personal protective equipment they were promised by their employers.

Fast food workers have too often been forgotten in the stories about essential workers. And they’ve been treated like they don’t matter by the chains they work for.  Fast food workers have been given doggie diapers to wear as masks, and exposed to daily barrages of racial slurs, simply for trying to protect themselves, their coworkers, and their communities.

RACISM AND BIGOTRY WIDESPREAD IN THE FAST FOOD INDUSTRY

Fast food employers routinely subject their frontline workers to racism, bigotry and discrimination. The fast food workforce is predominantly people of color, but racial slurs are commonplace. And the discrimination doesn’t stop with workers. McDonald’s franchise owners have filed lawsuits against the corporation claiming “systematic and covert racial discrimination” have held Black franchisees to a different standard and offered them “fewer growth opportunities” than their white counterparts.

STANDING UP AND SPEAKING OUT

For nearly a decade, fast food workers have fought for a $15 minimum wage and a union. In an industry riddled with wage theft, racism, sexual harassment, and violence in the workplace – and where taking a sick day is grounds for retaliation and speaking up can get you fired – these workers have had the guts to speak out, organize, and fight for change.

They’ve filed scores of complaints with county health departments and Cal/OSHA and gone on strike at more than 200 California fast food locations since March, 2020. Their courage underscores how essential it is that fast food workers have a meaningful voice on the job and can demand justice and fair standards in pay and workplace conditions across their industry. 

Holding fast food corporations accountable is critical to making sure workers are treated fairly and with dignity on the job. 

 

HALF A MILLION ESSENTIAL WORKERS FEEDING OUR COMMUNITies

Across California, 550,000 fast food workers serve more than 10 million customers every day. These frontline workers are predominantly women, Black, and Latinx. Many of them are single parents trying to support their families, but they make less than $28,000 a year on average and are regularly denied sick leave and other benefits. All workers deserve to be treated fairly under any circumstances, but during a global pandemic, this violation of workers’ basic rights is simply disgraceful.

ON THE FRONTLINES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The crisis has highlighted what we knew to be true all along: that fast-food workers are essential but they get treated like they are expendable. As stay-at-home orders took effect across the state, fast food workers remained on the frontlines to keep our communities fed, even when it put them at risk of contracting COVID-19. 
At the height of a pandemic, workers have been pressured to work while sick, fired for calling in sick, stiffed on the sick pay they’re legally entitled to, and denied personal protective equipment they were promised by their employers.

Fast food workers have too often been forgotten in the stories about essential workers. And they’ve been treated like they don’t matter by the chains they work for.  Fast food workers have been given doggie diapers to wear as masks, and exposed to daily barrages of racial slurs, simply for trying to protect themselves, their coworkers, and their communities.

RACISM AND BIGOTRY WIDESPREAD IN THE FAST FOOD INDUSTRY

Fast food employers routinely subject their frontline workers to racism, bigotry and discrimination. The fast food workforce is predominantly people of color, but racial slurs are commonplace. And the discrimination doesn’t stop with workers. McDonald’s franchise owners have filed lawsuits against the corporation claiming  “systematic and covert racial discrimination” have held Black franchisees to a different standard and offered them “fewer growth opportunities” than their white counterparts.

STANDING UP AND SPEAKING OUT

For nearly a decade, fast food workers have fought for a $15 minimum wage and a union. In an industry riddled with wage theft, racism, sexual harassment, and violence in the workplace – and where taking a sick day is grounds for retaliation and speaking up can get you fired – these workers have had the guts to speak out, organize, and fight for change.

They’ve filed scores of complaints with county health departments and Cal/OSHA and gone on strike at more than 200 California fast food locations since March, 2020. Their courage underscores how essential it is that fast food workers have a meaningful voice on the job and can demand justice and fair standards in pay and workplace conditions across their industry. 

Holding fast food corporations accountable is critical to making sure workers are treated fairly and with dignity on the job. 

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