Today, I walked a dozen fast food workers back to their jobs the day after they had participated in the one-day strike for a living wage and the right to organize without retaliation. And certainly, I was not alone. We made dozens of trips in large vans over the course of the day, accompanying workers en masse as they returned to their workplace. These are the people that you might see, but don’t have to think very much about. They work at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, all the fast food places that litter the modern American landscape. As this was happening, TV pundits were speculating on why we have such a slow recovery. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that millions of workers right now in low wage, low benefit jobs, forced to work harder than ever for less pay.
Some of the managers were accepting of the workers returning, other managers were confused, and a very few were hostile. Yes, these workers do have the right to perform this one-day strike. And according to federal labor laws, they have the right to return to work without retaliation.
The reactions of some to this—and have the power to widely express their views—were certainly quite predictable. For instance, just look at the way FOX News got skewered by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Naturally one predictable reaction is fear. What happen if all these people are suddenly making more than just enough to pay the rent and buy groceries? What if these people can actually start to save money for their families and plan their future? And what would
happen to the economy if all these people were suddenly able to participate in it?
That’s what would happen. The economy would improve as those invisible hands started to do some good for the people that do these jobs.