JACKSON, Miss. – For the first time in the “Low Pay is Not Ok” campaign’s two-year history, fast food workers in Mississippi will join the nationwide planned labor strike Thursday morning to demand higher pay and the opportunity to unionize.
“We can’t live off $7.25 an hour,” said Byron Johnson, a worker at a Jackson area McDonald’s who plans to participate in Thursday’s #StrikeFastFood walkout. “McDonald’s is a $7 billion corporation and I feel like if they can make that much money, and we still living in poverty. They can pay us more; $15 so we can live,” said Johnson. “We are the ones working making it possible for them to have that money.”
While Mississippi is a right to work state, Johnson said Fast Food workers deserve and need the right to unionize. “That union is to help support us. Help us keep the $15, and get health care, a paid vacation. We need benefits. And the union would represent that and be our safety net so (companies) can’t take it from us. “
The planned walkouts are backed by one of the nation’s largest labor organizations, the Service Employees International Union.