Big Apple fast food workers ditch work, demand to unionize

Workers protest in front of Burger King on

Workers protest in front of Burger King on W. 34th St. (Charles Eckert) (Credit: Workers protest in front of Burger King on W. 34th St. (Charles Eckert))

Fast food workers throughout the city walked off from flipping burgers Thursday to protest their pay.

Dozens of employees from chains such as McDonald's and Burger King say they can't live off their daily wages, which for some are as little as $7.25 an hour.

The protesters, who rallied at Times Square, Penn Station and in downtown Brooklyn, said they want to unionize because supervisors deny their requests for raises without explanation.

"It's difficult for me, because I have to take care of my mom and son," said Saavedra Jantuah, who works at a Burger King on 34th Street.

The protesters grew throughout the day and packed the sidewalks outside their eateries with signs and chants. Many pedestrians and motorists showed support as they passed the crowds.

"If we stay together and our voices are loud, we will be heard," McDonald's worker Raymond Lopez told the crowd outside Penn Station. Representatives for McDonald's didn't return messages for comment. A spokesman for Burger King said the chain offers its employees adequate benefits and pay.

Tags: NEWS , McDonalds , Burger King , New York Communities for Change , Christine Quinn , John Liu , Bill de Blasio , Bill Thompson , Ivan Pereira , ARTICLE , AMNY , HOLD

advertisement | advertise on newsday

advertisement | advertise on newsday