Fast Food Strikes Spread Across The Nation [Map]

This spring saw a flurry of fast food worker strikes across the country. Why are these protests happening right now? According to a new analysis, not only are fast food workers some of the worst paid workers in America, they've also been pummeled the hardest in the recovery.

Between 2009 and 2012, real wages fell by 2.8 percent across the board, according to an analysis by the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for low-wage workers. But food preparation workers saw their real wages drop almost twice that amount -- 5.2 percent -- and cooks experienced a staggering 7.1 percent decline. The average annual wage is now $18,720, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below the poverty line for a family of three. And that's if they manage to get 40 hours a week of work.

Day-to-day survival for fast food workers has never been more difficult, which is why workers in many cities, inspired by the growing low-wage worker movement, and backed by the Service Employees International Union, have walked out to demand a $15 wage and union recognition. To see the scope of these strikes check out the map above, and click on an icon to learn more.

The map was created by Mariya Pylayev and Carla Astudillo, a freelance data visualization journalist. AOL Jobs will continue to update the map above as more strikes happen.

*Events marked with the #RaiseTheWage hashtag were part of the July 24 National Day of Action, a coalition that staged rallies and walkouts in over 20 cities nationwide. The actions were loosely focused on all low-wage earners, including those in the fast food and retail sectors. Because the map tracks fast food-related activity, AOL Jobs chose to only include actions that explicitly involved that industry.

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Tell them to get a real job. Most people employed are there are using fast food as a tool for advancement !

August 29 2013 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's more than my husband makes as a landscaper after working for his company for 20 years! As a teacher with a master's degree I made $48,000. At $15/hr with no student loans to pay off, no extra classroom supplies to buy, no continuing education to pay to recertify, no recertification fees, no certification tests to pay for for if you move to another state, no wardrobe necessary beyond a minimal uniform, flipping burgers is definitely the way to go.

August 05 2013 at 3:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Glass Family

Fast food jobs where never meant to be a career!! That is where kids learned the work skills necessary to succeed in life. If they want a better job that pays more get an education and move on! I'm not paying $30.00 for a hamburger so they can feel good about themselves!

July 26 2013 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wait until the "free" health care kicks in..

July 26 2013 at 8:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

turn all mcdonalds into self serve premade food joints

July 26 2013 at 8:56 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

You should just stop eating that junk food and that will solve a lot of problems.

July 26 2013 at 8:08 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

They're always on strike at the McDonalds I go to. It takes 15 minutes to get an Ice Cream cone, and my food order is usually screwed up.

July 26 2013 at 8:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For every one that strikes there are 2 to take their place The strikers will be much happier on the unemployment line

July 26 2013 at 8:05 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

let them all strike, now maybe those on welfare will get up and take one of those jobs

July 26 2013 at 7:31 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to frebee2's comment

Fat chance of that happening thanks obama

July 26 2013 at 8:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

No doubt, they are salivating like Pavlov's dogs.

July 26 2013 at 9:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

$15 / hr ? Really? $450 / wk for part time work? I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this. For starters, I think it would sky rocket the price of a Whopper out of the realm of cheap eats. It will also take the "fast" out of fast food when they start cutting complement to offset the higher wages. On the plus side, fewer happy meals will probably make us a healthier nation. That said, the fast food industry needs to voluntarily raise the bar on wages, or else, in the end, they will fall to the unions and their demands for high wages and fat benefit packages. Unions used to account for 1-in-4 wage earners. Now they only account 1-in-10. They will become a footnote in history unless they regain market share, and the fast food quarter is ripe for the picking.

July 26 2013 at 7:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mary's comment

1 in 10 is way to many. I should be 0 in 10.

July 26 2013 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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