Fast Food Workers Plan Nationwide Walkout August 29
If you plan on stopping by your favorite fast-food establishment on August 29, you may not be able to get service.
Fast-food and retail workers from eight cities called on low-wage workers around the country to join them on Monday, in a national day of strikes on August 29.
The workers have been demanding higher wages and taking their fight to the streets by going on strike for a better future for their families and communities. Workers are fighting for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation or unfair labor practices.
“If you work in a fast food or retail store anywhere in the country, we urge you to join our growing movement,” said Terrance Wise, a 34-year old father of three who earns $9.30 an hour after eight years at Burger King and $7.47 at Pizza Hut in Kansas City. “Get together with some or all of your co-workers and make plans to take to the streets on August 29. Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to do the same. The more of us who go on strike that day, the louder our message will be that it is not right for companies making billions in profits to pay their workers pennies.”
The strike is likely to hit major national fast-food companies like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. Retail employees at outlets like Macy’s, Sears and Dollar Tree are expected to join the strikes in some cities.
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"The fast food restaurant industry is terrified that these [strikes] will spread to other cities," Wall Street Journal editorial board member Steve Moore said in an interview last week on WSJ Live. The industry has failed to address the concern of workers, who earn minimum wage or just above it. They feel they have very little to lose by uniting to demand higher pay.
“It’s wrong for big corporations to make billions of dollars in profits and pay millions of dollars to their CEOs, while us workers barely scrape by on minimum wage,” said Latrice Arnold, a 27-year-old mother of two who earns Michigan’s minimum wage of $7.40 an hour at a Detroit Wendy’s where she has worked for two years. “It’s time for these big fast-food and retail companies to pay up. They can afford to pay us more and have a responsibility to ensure the workers who keep their businesses booming don’t live in poverty.”
The workers who went on strike earlier this year in eight cities—New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Seattle, Kansas City and Flint—unveiled an online toolkit to help workers around the country join the pre-Labor Day strike for $15.
“We are united in our belief that every job should pay workers enough to meet basic needs such as food and housing,” said Nancy Salgado, a single mother of two who has worked at McDonald’s in Chicago for 10 years and makes Illinois’ minimum wage of $8.25 an hour. “Our families, communities, and economy all depend on workers earning a living wage.”
Fast food is a $200 billion a year industry and retail is a $4.7 trillion industry, yet many service workers across the country earn minimum wage or just above it and are forced to rely on public assistance programs to provide for their families and get healthcare for their children. Nationally, the median wage for cooks, cashiers and crew at fast-food restaurants is just $8.94 an hour.
The group of fast-food workers demanding the adjustment of pay to $15 an hour started in New York City last November with a strike of 200 workers.
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Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.