Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
Key Discussion Points:
a) This week thousands of fast food workers across the US went on strike for better wages, calling for a $15 per an hour wage and the right to unionize. The Fast Food Forward campaign began in NYC and has spread across the country. Fast food workers also went on strike in NYC this past November and April,
b) In June, The Left Forum in NYC hosted a panel titled “Foundations of Economic Justice: Low Wage Workers Forward”. It was organized, moderated and recorded by Richard Hill of WPKEN, Bridgeport, CT and Between the Lines producer Scott Harris.
c) Two of the panelist were current KFC workers. They gave their perspectives as fast food workers active in a movement for better wages. Two other panelists gave academic analysis on the current state of an economy based on low wage workers.
A) Michael Zweig, professor of Economics at Stony Brook University; director of the Center for the Study of Working Class Life; author of book The Working Class Majority (Cornell).
B) Shanita Simon, KFC worker; NY Communities for Change
C) Catherine Ruetschlin, policy analyst at Demos; author of November, 2012 report: Retail’s Hidden Potential — How Raising Wages Would Benefit Workers, the Industry and the Overall Economy
D)Joseph Barrera, KFC worker; New York Communities for Change