Obama’s minimum wage fervor sparks civil disobedience with a side of ‘reality check’

A nationwide strike of fast food workers began Thursday.

Hundreds of arrests and public disturbances became part of an orchestrated campaign sponsored by the Service Employees International Union to increase wages, union membership, and ultimately, its own coffers.

While many streets were blocked, including Times Square in New York, and restaurants sat vacant, supporters and opponents took to the Twittersphere to spread their messages.

“There has to be civil disobedience because workers don’t see any other way to get $15 an hour and a union,” said Fast Food Forward organizing director Kendall Fells, according to USA Today.

Yet, according to a recent Chamber of Commerce study based upon SEIU documents, 40 full-time employees at union headquarters itself make less than the demanded figure.

McDonald’s issued a statement calling for negotiated and graduated wage increases to avoid economic disruptions, and the National Council of Chain Restaurants described the coordinated strike as placing other restaurant workers and customers in physical danger and illegal trespassing.

The strike, of course, has President Barack Obama’s support and that of the National Labor Relations Board, but as the tweets intimate, the Law of Unintended Consequences might come back to haunt the protesters.

Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

Comments

Latest Articles