12-18-2017  4:40 am      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Exhibit Explores the Legacy of Portland Bird Watchers

Dedicated bird watchers catapult a conservationist movement ...

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Don’t Delay, Sign-up for Affordable Healthcare Today

The deadline to enroll or modify healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is December 15. ...

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

CNNmoney Staff

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Fast food workers in 50 cities across the U.S. are walking off the job Thursday as they protest for higher wages.

Organizers say it will be the largest strike to hit the $200 billion fast-food industry.

Workers from fast food giants McDonald's, Burger King Wendy's and Yum Brands-owned KFC are calling on their employers to pay them a minimum of $15 an hour and allow them to form unions without retaliation.

Currently, the median pay for the fast food workers across the country is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That's roughly $4,500 lower than Census Bureau's poverty income threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

Strikes are planned in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York and dozens of other cities.

The campaign, organized by a coalition of labor, community and clergy groups called Fast Food Forward, has been building momentum since last November, when the protests first hit the national spotlight.

Organizers say retail workers from stores such as Macy's, Sears, Walgreens and L Brands' Victoria's Secret will also go on strike Thursday in some cities.

Latoya Jemes, who's been working at a Memphis McDonald's for the past year, said she plans to join the protests.

She makes $7.45 an hour, and has to work overnights because she can't afford childcare during the day. Her mother watches her children during the night.

"I'm a single parent of three, and I'm living check to check," said Jemes, 24. "I only have enough to pay my rent, and I might be able to squeeze out the things that my kids need, but I'm not making enough."

The protests have caught the attention of the White House. Earlier this summer, the "low-wage worker" protests were mentioned in a blog post written by National Economic Council director Gene Sperling and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Kruege. They said that raising the minimum wage was part of President Obama's economic vision.

--CNNMoney's Emily Jane Fox contributed to this report.

 

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