Fast-food workers expected to protest racial, economic injustice

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local fast-food restaurants participated in a strike for Black Lives Matter Monday.

Among those were workers are KFC and McDonalds.

“We shouldn’t have to live off poverty wages and choose between our family health and getting food on the table,” said KFC worker Tiffany Lowe.

Lowe joined more than 50 protesters fighting for “15 an hour at fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s on Union Ave. in midtown.

“Give us 15 and the union and we need it now,” Lowe said. “We need it now and we won’t back down until we get it.”

Protesters stood outside of the restaurant saying they can’t survive on their current pay.

Lowe told us she is barely getting by. She and her four children live with relatives to keep a roof over their heads.

People held up signs saying they’re fighting for livable wages.

“The reason we are standing out here today is in support of everyone who has to put their life on the line in order to feed their families,” Lowe said.

Protesters argue fast-food workers are putting their lives on the line every day during this pandemic. They want to be treated equally.

“My message gives us what we need to survive,” Lowe said. “We need union rights, hazard pay. We need health care equipment.”

Statement attributable to McDonald’s USA:

“McDonald’s unequivocally supports the need for racial equality and social justice and stands with Black communities across the globe where we are proud to offer employment opportunities and learn from our team members to make the McDonald’s System stronger. We believe Black lives matter, and it is our responsibility to continue to listen and learn and push for a more equitable and inclusive society.

We will not waiver in our continued commitment to safety and wellness in our restaurants - taking precautions that protect crew, customers and communities. To provide for the safety of the over 800,000 restaurant crew that have served meals to the community and healthcare workers during the pandemic, McDonald’s enhanced over 50 processes in restaurants. McDonald’s and our franchisees distributed an ample supply of PPE with no supply breaks, including gloves and over 100 million masks, in addition to installing protective barriers in restaurants. We are confident the vast majority of employees are covered with sick pay if they are impacted by COVID-19. To further show appreciation, franchisees have awarded bonuses and raises to employees and provided additional health and financial resources.” – McDonald’s USA

Additional Information

  • We are proud to continue to provide opportunities and access to educational programs to help crew and our communities thrive. Through the McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity initiative, which celebrates its five-year anniversary this year, we have given out more than $100 million in tuition assistance and supported more than 55,000 restaurant workers and corporate employees in providing opportunity and mobility. More than 50 percent of the participants are individuals who identify as people of color and almost two-thirds of participants are women.

On background:

  • In March 2019, McDonald’s announced it will not lobby against or participate in any activities opposing raising the minimum wage.