Protesters Demand Living Wage for Fast Food Workers

May 15, 2014

The Global Strike for Fast Food Workers is happening across the country and around the world today (Thursday). The protest is a call for higher pay and worker rights for the estimated four million employees in the fast food industry. One of the events is in Eugene.

It’s lunchtime business as usual at the McDonald’s on Broadway in Eugene….

But outside on the sidewalk, a handful of activists are protesting  the corporate fast food giant. They want to see a “living wage” for its employees.

Lauren Regan (far left) and Leonard Stoehr (center) join other activists protesting low wages for fast food workers.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

Lauren Regan is director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center.

“We’re here because the fast food industry is making $200 billion a year but yet they’re only paying their workers minimum wage. They set the pay scale so that they can receive food stamps and other public benefits. So in essence, we are subsidizing the giant profits that these corporations are making at the same time that these families and low wage workers are struggling just to make ends meet.” 

Leonard Stoehr is with the Teamsters 206. He says he doesn’t expect to see Ronald McDonald join them any time soon.

“In the meantime, until we have people that are willing to walk out, then we’re willing to just show our unconditional support for them and hope that the (honks and cheers) support from within materializes.”

Protesters sing and chant outside a McDonald's in Eugene.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

A manager for the McDonald’s watched protesters through a window. She would not comment on the event except to say she was “glad” they were soon heading to the Wendy’s restaurant down the street.