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Fasting for an End to Starvation Wages


Fasting for an End to Starvation Wages

Rudy López, Simone Campbell

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said that we have to remind this nation that it's a crime to live in a rich nation and receive starvation wages.

By risking their jobs and going on strike for $15, better working conditions and union rights, tens of thousands of brave fast-food workers have offered just such a reminder. They've put a face on poverty and forced the public to grapple with an unsustainable economic reality in which corporations and CEOs rake in billions of dollars, but the employees on who's backs these fortunes are made are left with scraps.


What is considered “poverty” today? We did decide that those who were trying to get on their feet on roughly $4k annual welfare aid were living unacceptably comfortable lives, buying big screen TVs, etc. Realistically, while we can poke at this or that company every couple of years, little changes. In the real world, not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there aren’t jobs for all who urgently need one. The US shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s, creating a surplus of job-ready people who are desperate for any job at any wage. Why pay more? For that matter, how many low wage workers dare to risk losing their jobs? When the Walmart kerfluffle passes over, these workers will be replaced with cheaper/pt.time workers. This is because the issues go far beyond Walmart alone, directly to the heart of our socioeconomic policies.