If You Support The UAW Strike But Not The Fight For 15, You’re Doing It Wrong
My social media feeds are flooded with people showing their support for the UAW workers walking the picket lines.
I think that's the way it should be. People should rally around their friends, family, and community members trying to secure a better situation for themselves. So why wasn't there this huge show of support for fast food workers when they went on strike to get a $15 wage?
Where were all of the horns honking in support of them? Where were all of the local businesses bringing out food and water to make the picket line a little easier? Where were the keyboard warriors posting meme after meme on social media?
Odds are good, they were busy complaining about how fast food workers don't deserve a big raise like that. I know this is a generalization, but the overall mood when it came to the fast food strike was annoyance.
I want to know what the difference is.
Is it money? Not really . . both GM and most fast food chains make billions and billions of dollars every year.
Is it the size of the workforce? No. If anything, fast food probably employs more people around the country than GM.
So maybe it's the actual work that's being done. This one is up for debate, but I personally think that the work is damn near the same. I don't mean any disrespect to anyone working in an assembly plant, but fast food is basically a food assembly plant.
Sure the work at the plant is a lot more physically demanding, but there are no customers to deal with. That trade off is pretty much a wash in my book. There are no degrees or certificates required to work either job. I'm not saying that either job is easy, but they are both jobs someone can get directly out of high school.
The focus is not about the job though, it's about what the workers are fighting for. The Fight For 15 is trying to get to the point that the UAW workers are at right now. They want to be able to unite under one group and use that power to improve their work conditions.
The principle behind the strikes are exactly the same.
So why do so many people rush to support the UAW, but bash the fast food workers?
I don't know that there is a clear answer, but my guess is that it's perception based on income. For years the UAW workers have been given very good salaries and benefits to do their job. They have built generations of middle class living off of these jobs. Conversely, fast food workers have worked for minimum wage and no benefits for so long that the industry just burns through people.
I fully support what the UAW workers are doing, and why they're doing it. I just hope more people choose to recognize that taking a stand to improve work conditions is a universal thing.