Hundreds Stage Protest at Stockholder Meeting for McDonald’s

McDonalds Protests

On Wednesday, hundreds of workers in the fast food industry demanded higher wages as they marched outside the headquarters of McDonald’s during the hamburger chain’s annual meeting of shareholders.

The throng of demonstrations were one part of a protest nationwide organized by the labor group Fight for 15 that has targeted McDonald’s regularly in calling for higher pay as well as union rights for their workers.

Over two dozen protesters in Chicago were arrested outside a shareholder meeting of United Continental Holdings.

One protester at the headquarters of McDonald’s said that he watched his mother, who worked at Hardee’s for 30 years struggle to raise a family using food stamps and he was not doing the exact same thing.

The protester works full time at McDonald’s and earns $7.65 per hour and needs food stamps to support three daughters.

Rather than pay $15 million to their CEO, they should give him just $10 million and pay their employees what is right, he said. The workers are asking for a $15 per hour minimum wage.

CEO Steve Easterbrook’s total compensation at McDonald’s last year was $15.3 million.

Shareholders in the meeting at McDonald’s did not mention the protests at a session of questions and answers.

Easterbrook put focus on the plans of the fast food behemoth to deliver food with UberEats and rolling out new products.

The company said it invests in workers through helping them gain college degrees and acquire skills while on the job. The company in 2015 raised the average pay to nearly $10 per hour for workers in company owned restaurants.

However, the vast majority of workers at McDonald’s across the U.S. work for franchisees who are able to establish their own wages.

Hope for an increase in the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour was cut last year when Congress remained under the control of Republicans following the November elections.

Opponents of a minimum wage increase say that higher costs would require restaurants to cut down on their hiring and some businesses would close.

Still, voters in Washington, Maine, Colorado and Arizona approved increases in minimum wages encouraging advocates for the cause to keep pressing forward across the country.

On Wednesday, workers also gathered outside a restaurant of McDonald’s close to the downtown area of Los Angeles.

Thirty protesters in Chicago were arrested for blocking a road, said police outside the United Continental Holdings headquarters in downtown.

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