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Congressional Leaders Call on Fast Food Chains to Raise Minimum Wage for Workers

December 4, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – In a letter led by Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-38), today 53 Congressional leaders, including Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), urged the top five fast food chains in this country to improve working conditions and raise the minimum wage for their employees. The letter comes as front line fast food workers prepare to organize a nationwide strike on Thursday to improve wages and working conditions. It was sent to executives at McDonald’s, Burger King Worldwide, Yum! Brands (operates and licenses Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet restaurants worldwide), the Wendy’s Company, and Domino’s Pizza.


“It’s time to super size the minimum wage of fast food workers in this country. Workers in the fast food industry are struggling to make ends meet. When wages become too low to sustain a living, taxpayers shoulder the burden of helping families with the use of public assistance programs. With record profits, these companies should pay workers fair wages and put more money in the hands of consumers who can help strengthen our economy.” - Rep. Linda Sánchez


“On Tuesday we found out that fast food CEOs are abusing old loopholes to keep tens of millions of dollars in bonuses without paying their taxes. They really have no excuse for not paying their employees a reasonable wage. You can’t live on $23,000 a year in this country no matter who you are or what kind of family you’re supporting. It’s especially hard when your boss makes $30 million a year and tells you to go to the food bank for the holidays. Paying a living wage is the only way forward for the fast food industry and the economy, and it’s time to start now.”- Rep. Raúl Grijalva


“Too many people who work all day feeding fast-food customers don’t make enough money to feed their own children when they get home. No one working full-time should live in poverty. It’s time for fast-food corporations to raise wages for their employees.”- Rep. Keith Ellison


The median pay for front line fast food workers is just $8.69, with many jobs paying at or near the minimum wage.  According to a recent report by the University of California-Berkley, more than half of front line fast food workers earn so little they are forced to enroll their families in public assistance, costing taxpayers $7 billion per year. 



The full text of the letters, including a list of all the members supporting it, can be viewed by clicking on the links below.


Letter to McDonald's

Letter to Burger King

Letter to Wendy's

Letter to Domino's

Letter to Yum! Brands