retail news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports on the wave of protests staged by fast food workers in various parts of the country as they seek higher pay and look to stop employers from using more part-timers as a way of not having to pay for health insurance under new federal mandates.

Here's how the paper frames the story:

"Front-line, limited-service restaurant workers, a category that includes fast-food employees, earned a nationwide average $9.05 an hour in March, up 2.7% the past three years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By contrast, the pay of all private-sector non-management employees is up 5.7% in that period.

"Adjusting for inflation, fast-food wages have fallen 36 cents an hour since 2010, even as the industry has raked in record profits.

"Saying they can't live on such meager pay, the workers are demanding $15 an hour and the right to form unions without fear of reprisal. Although all U.S. workers legally have that freedom, many who try to organize are fired or punished with reduced hours, says Dorian Warren, an associate professor of political science and public affairs at Columbia University."
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