19 Arrested In Times Square Fast Food Worker Protests

September 5, 2014 | Rhett Jones

Nineteen people were arrested yesterday in a Times Square demonstration organized for fast-food workers seeking a livable wage. The protesters were charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing vehicle traffic after reportedly walking into the middle of 42nd Street and sitting down, before being handcuffed and taken to booking.

For the last two years, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been organizing larger protests, strikes and acts of civil disobedience to increase the minimum pay of fast food workers to $15 an hour. The labor union has spent $10 million in the last two years to raise awareness, but fast food organizations have been unwilling to make changes. However, the SEIU claims their efforts contributed to Seattle raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The New York Times reports that “in some restaurants, two workers went on strike for a few hours, in others, 10.” Despite that claim, McDonald’s issued a statement Thursday saying, “These are not ‘strikes’ but are staged demonstrations in which people are being transported to fast-food restaurants.” (Photo: @BloombergNews)