Chad’s Morning Brief: Fast-Food Workers to Strike, Latest on Syria, and More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 29, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
1. Strike! (link)
A national strike is planned for today and according to the Texas Tribune, some Texas fast-food workers may join the national movement.
Jose Avila thought he could save money to pay off college loans by moving into his mother’s one-bedroom Houston apartment and working at a Subway restaurant. But he says he’s barely making ends meet on his $7.75-an-hour wage, and he considers taking the bus to work such an extravagance that he walks an hour and a half each way, unless it’s raining.
Avila, 22, says he plans to join fast-food workers in dozens of cities across the country on Thursday in a pre-Labor Day strike to call for $15-an-hour wages. Workers in Houston, Dallas and Austin plan to participate, organizers say.
“I want people to see what’s behind the counter of these restaurants,” said Avila, who dropped out of college for financial reasons and has worked at Subway for about a year. “We’re not making it with minimum wage anymore.”
Avila’s salary is slightly above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Nationally, the median wage for front-line fast-food workers is $8.94 per hour, according to the National Employment Law Project, which advocates for low-wage workers.
Thursday’s planned strikes come after similar action in New York City in November as well as strikes this year in cities including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle.
The events have received financial and technical support from the Service Employees International Union and are being run by groups such as the Texas Organizing Project.
On Thursday, workers are expected to walk off the job at restaurants including McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s and, in some cities, at retail stores such as Macy’s, Sears and Dollar Tree. Workers are also calling for the right to form a union without retaliation.
James Galbraith, a professor of government at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin who has called for a $12 minimum wage, said the fast-food worker movement is “a heartening development.”
“What you’re looking at is a group of people who are trying to do something really quite difficult, which is to achieve a higher minimum wage in a sector that historically depends on and has been adamant about having very low-wage standards,” he said. “The challenge they’re taking on is quite impressive.”
Richie Jackson, CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association, said most minimum-wage workers are just beginning their professional lives, and that the vast majority of restaurant workers earning the federal minimum wage are part-time employees.
He said that Texas’ restaurant industry is “an engine of growth” for the state’s economy and that Texas restaurants employ more than 1 million people.
“Restaurant jobs teach invaluable skills and a strong work ethic that help workers grow in their professional lives,” Jackson said in a statement.
Those who plan on striking complain about how much money they make and that they would like their salary to be at $15 dollars an hour. That’s cute. These folks don’t understand that if they were paid that much, the price of their food would increase and people would stop going. They also don’t understand that they are paid a low wage because it’s a low to no skilled job. Just about anyone can flip a burger. The minimum wage isn’t around so one person can work and pay for a family of 4. Sorry. Go ahead and protest though. Your boss can just fire you and hire some kid in high school who will appreciate the job.
2. US to Bypass the UN? (link)
Remember when liberals were mad about President Bush not always listening to the UN? Well their savior, President Obama, is about to do the same. Will there be outrage from the left?
The State Department made clear Wednesday that the Obama administration plans to bypass the United Nations Security Council as it prepares for a possible strike on Syria, after having failed to win support from Russia.
In blunt terms, department spokeswoman Marie Harf said last-ditch efforts to win support for an anti-Assad resolution at the U.N. were unsuccessful, and the U.S. would proceed anyway.
"We see no avenue forward given continued Russian opposition to any meaningful council action on Syria," she said. "Therefore, the United States will continue its consultations and will take appropriate actions to respond in the days ahead."
Earlier in the day, the U.S. and its allies tried to advance a resolution from Great Britain condemning the alleged chemical attack last week in Syria, and authorizing "necessary measures to protect civilians." The Russian delegation, traditional supporters of the Assad government, immediately complained about the resolution during the discussions at U.N. headquarters in New York.
Harf said the U.N. Security Council would not be proceeding with a vote.
Will Obama make his case to Congress and the American people? That's what we really want to know.
3. California Targeting Youth Groups (link)
California plans to target youth groups like the Boy Scouts over their tax status.
California lawmakers are cruising toward a final vote on a bill that could threaten the tax-exempt status of American-as-apple-pie groups — ranging from the Boy Scouts to Little League — if their membership policies are found to be discriminatory.
If passed, the bill, SB 323, would remove an exemption from state taxes for any nonprofit youth group that discriminates on the basis of “gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or religious affiliation.” Well-known organizations like Girl Scouts of the USA, Boy Scouts of America, and Little League International Baseball and Softball were cited in the bill, which was introduced in February by Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara.
Lawmakers are not accusing groups like Little League and the Girl Scouts of having discriminatory policies. The bill appears to be aimed more at the Boy Scouts, as Lara pushed the legislation on the heels of the controversy surrounding the Boy Scouts' policy to exclude gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as scouts or adult leaders. The national organization later voted to allow gay youth membership, but maintained its ban on openly gay adult leaders.
Lara told reporters earlier this month that the Boy Scouts' decision was not good enough for him, and continued to push the bill.
Youth groups say they hope they won't be affected. Brian McClintock, a Little League International spokesman, told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that the group already does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
“In order to be an officially chartered Little League, any local organization must adhere to this policy for all players and volunteers,” McClintock wrote in an email.
Joshua Ackley, a Girl Scouts spokesman, echoed McClintock, saying the group values “diversity and inclusiveness” among its 3.2 million youth and adult members.
“While Girl Scouts of the USA does not comment on legislation, we value diversity and inclusiveness, and our membership is representative of our diverse communities,” Ackley wrote. “Girl Scout membership does not discriminate on any basis, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
The bill cites more than 20 groups, including the Boy Scouts of America and Little League International Baseball and Softball, as examples of organizations that could be affected by the legislation if passed.
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