Fast food workers call for a minimum wage hike

Kai Ryssdal Dec 4, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Fast food workers call for a minimum wage hike

Kai Ryssdal Dec 4, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Earlier today, President Obama called for a raise in the minimum wage. He pointed to the gap between the rich and poor that continues to grow. His speech comes at a very opportune for fast food workers, who have plans to walk off the job tomorrow in over a hundred cities across the country, demanding an increase to the federal minimum wage.

It’s at $7.25 right now, and has been since 2009.

Nancy Koehn is an historian at the Harvard Business School. She says the strikes are not a huge factor in the possibility of wage increases.

“I don’t think right now the most important wave in raising wages is worker strikes. I think it’s much more of a large scale appeal,” said Koehn.

She says the minimum wage is stuck because we live in the age of a “constipated government” at the national level and that it will be interesting to see whether the “post debt ceiling moment” in the New Year will call for more decisions to be made in Washington.

Koehn says that around 43 percent of low wage workers have some college expereicen. That’s a huge deal, she says. 

“Americans understand and respect the working life. A day’s work should be played at a living wage,” said Koehn. “We kvetch about all kinds of things. We disagree about the finer points of healthcare, food stamps, the social safety net, executive compensation. We don’t disagree about someone  showing up for work, doing a job and being paid a decent wage.”

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.