When 200 New York City fast-food workers walked off their jobs in November 2012, their demand of $15 an hour seemed like a fantasy. But over the weekend, as more than 1,000 fast-food workers from 50 cities gathered in Chicago for the first-ever nationwide fast-food workers convention, the workers' call for $15 looked prescient.
Minimum-wage workers devastated by the economic crash of 2008 have continued to languish in poverty while the subsequent recovery has sent executive compensation soaring. Nowhere is the disparity starker than in the fast-food industry, which a recent report called the most unequal sector in the U.S. economy.
When you read that story recently about the Burger King customers who were insulted on their order receipt, you may have felt shock, outrage and sympathy for the customers. I felt a little of that, but something else, too: I felt empathy for the employee who typed up the receipt and then got fired over it.