Economy

These Photos Capture the Spirit of Fast Food Workers Across America Right Now

Today, fast food workers are striking, demanding that their employers pay $15 per hour and give them the right to form a union. The movement has helped changed American attitudes toward the minimum wage by drawing attention to the plight of low-wage workers. Helped by successful ballot initiatives for betters wages in Alaska, South Dakota, Arkansas, and Nebraska during the 2014 midterm elections, the push is gaining national momentum. The average fast food worker in the U.S. makes just over $9 per hour, well below a living wage. 

As we've reported previously, the purchasing power of American workers has fallen dramatically in comparison to the rest of the developed world. And while fast food workers are not the only ones who have to deal with the minimum wage, more often than not, they are the focus of the minimum wage debate, with good reason. Out of every American industry, fast food has the largest gap between CEO-to-worker pay. The average pay of top fast food restaurant CEOs in 2013 was $10, 872,390-- 721 times more than minimum wage workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute

UPDATE (7:15 PM ET): The strikes went on throughout the day, with images coming on from all over the U.S.

Including Los Angeles:

HomecareFor15 Los Angeles

And up north in Oakland, CA: 

And also in Cleveland, OH: 

UPDATE (1:45 PM ET): 

Strikes continue in Sacramento, CA:

As well as in Florida:

More from Pittsburgh, PA:

And Greensboro, NC:

Fast food chain protests started at midnight across the U.S., with strikes in Detroit:

And Minnesota:

And in Charlotte, NC:

As well as in Chicago:

They picked up steam in the morning, with similar action in Knoxville, TN:

In Pittsburgh, PA:

In Kansas City, MO:

In Philadelphia, PA:

In New York:

In Washington, DC:

In Richmond, VA:

In Atlanta, GA:

In Florida:

In New Orleans, LA:

In Los Angeles, CA:

Las Vegas, NV:

Homecare workers joined the protests as well: