Fast-food workers "Strike for 15" at downtown Raleigh KFC | News | Indy Week
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fast-food workers "Strike for 15" at downtown Raleigh KFC

Posted by on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Around 100 people, led by the Rev. William Barber, marched to the KFC on New Bern Avenue during the "Strike for 15" day of action. - PHOTO BY JEREMY M. LANGE
  • Photo by Jeremy M. Lange
  • Around 100 people, led by the Rev. William Barber, marched to the KFC on New Bern Avenue during the "Strike for 15" day of action.

The KFC on New Bern Avenue in downtown Raleigh has a sign in its window for a six-piece fried chicken deal for $9.99.

It's a luxury most of the restaurant's workers likely cannot afford, and the irony is not lost on the Rev. William Barber.

"It's a crime," he told a crowd of around 100 people, "that you can work for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and can't hardly afford the chicken that's there. It's a crime to work 40 hours and be paid like you're working part-time, and not be given health insurance or time off when you get sick."

Fast-food workers and their allies across the state and the country went on strike Thursday to demand better wages than the $7.25 an hour most of them are currently paid.

They want $15 dollars and the right to unionize in North Carolina and other places in the South, without fear of retaliation.

Some workers will settle for $10 an hour, said Melvin Wharton and Dansiray McVay, two employees from a Greensboro Taco Bell. They just want a wage where they don't have to have choose between paying their cell phone bill and buying their next meal.

Yesterday's demonstration began at the historic Martin Street Baptist Church, where Barber rallied workers from Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, and their supporters, before marching to the KFC franchise located on the busy Raleigh street leading out of downtown.

"The reality is," Barber told the crowd, "the fastest growing jobs in the U.S.A. are the lowest paid. Most new jobs are in fast food. Workers are paid between $10,000 and $18,000 a year. Fast-food workers are truly the working poor."

Wharton, who made $13 an hour before he was laid off more than a year ago, calls his wages "chump change."

"Who can survive on that?" he asked. "I've got real bills. I hope the nation and the government can see that we're tired. We want to be treated fairly and get fair wages, just like any other person in America."

Crowd members carried signs reading "Strike for 15" and chanted "We can't survive on $7.25."

Passing motorists, hopefully on their way home from jobs that pay them living wages, honked their horns and waved.

Pin It


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News

  • Dan Forest Says We "Misunderstand" HB 2

    Dan Forest Says We "Misunderstand" HB 2

    "Your question itself shows a misunderstanding of House Bill 2," Forest says.
    • Jul 22, 2016
  • Pat McCrory Has Lost It

    Pat McCrory Has Lost It

    McCrory blames a prominent fighter for LGBT equality for drawing attention to the stupid bill he signed.
    • Jul 22, 2016
  • The Morning Roundup: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

    The Morning Roundup: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

    Also: Hillary Clinton to announce a VP who will not be Elizabeth Warren, the NBA to move the All-Star Game to a city that is not Charlotte, and Black Lives Matter protesters shut down a street in Durham.
    • Jul 22, 2016
  • More »

Twitter Activity


Forest says "We will never value a dollar over a woman's or child's safety and security." Based on that statement …

by Michael Thomas on Charlotte Is Losing the All-Star Game (News)

I'd vote for ralph wiggum before I vote for McCory. In fact, I'd take any character in Springfield over the …

by David 2 on Pat McCrory Has Lost It (News)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation