One of the largest workforces in the United States is the fast food industry which employs 4 million people nationwide. There has been a growing activist movement around the wages received by these workers, as 52% of fast food workers receive some form of public assistance. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, fast food jobs are the biggest source of job growth in New York State and New York City over the past decade, but “with a median hourly pay of only $8.90 an hour in NYC, this growth in fast food jobs is one of the reasons that poverty has risen sharply during the recovery.”
On Thursday, June 18, 2015 our Director of Strategic Learning, Erin McDonald, PhD testified at the Fast Food Wage Board hearing. As a philanthropic partner, we are committed to supporting policies that create more just working environments for low-income women and families. Previously, we have supported ROC New York in their work to improve wages for restaurant workers and A Better Balance in their successful efforts to pass paid sick leave legislation for for all workers in New York City. It is in this spirit of providing economic security for low-income workers and their families, that we recognize the critical need for a $15 per hour minimum wage for fast workers.