On the 29th of April, fast food workers backed by the IWW and Occupy folks confronted a ritzy National Restaurant Association banquet at the Ronald Reagan Building.
Speakers pointed out that the National Restaurant Association was so hated for their lobbying to keep the minimum wage low that they could only meet in a Federal building behind Homeland Security cops and did not dare hold their event at say, the Hilton.
The “other NRA” as some are calling them is in town to lobby against proposals to raise the Federal minimum wage from $7.35 an hour to $10,10 an hour, a wage the fast food workers are saying is still nowhere near enough to afford to eat their own food and pay for rent and utilities. Protesters were demanding $15 an hour plus union rights, essentially what the New Deal promised them in the 1930’s adjusted for inflation. They also suggested that CEO pay in the restaurant industry be reduced to minumum wage.
One speaker pointed out that these CEO’s are paid TWELVE THOUSAND times what crew workers are paid, which comes out to about $10,000 an hour! That’s twenty times the going hourly rate of some first class law firms, 200 times the shop rate for many area automotive and machine shops. Well, I guess these restaurant lobbyists are in town to remind members of Congress just who is the pimp in the relationship between Congress and lobbyists.
Well, these fast food pimps had to run a gauntlet of fast food workers and other protesters calling them “pigs” as they entered the Ronald Reagan building, some of them looking visibly shaken that their workers would dare to stand up to them. Guess that’s why they don’t want to meet in a unionized or even a non-union hotel, where they might get their event stormed by protesters, disrupted by the hotel’s own workere, or both.
The April 28 through Mayday week of action continues!