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84% of NYC fast food workers reported at least one instance of wage theft, 66% reported at least two, 45% reported at least three, 30% reported at least four wage theft violations.
New York's fast food workers kicked off the series of one-day strikes we've seen in cities across the nation in recent months, and while the city hasn't seen another such walkout since April, the workers aren't done fighting. What's more, the New York Times' Michael Powell reports:
There is good news to be heard here. Workers who earn minimum wage realize their employers have no real hold on their tongues.

“I’m making the minimum wage plus 50 cents,” notes Ms. Simon. “I definitely can find another job.”

What's more, some workers are realizing that in addition to wanting more, or even needing more, there's another word to describe their situation as they're paid poverty wages and often cheated out of hours of pay they've earned:
Naquasia Legrand, a 22-year-old from Canarsie, Brooklyn, works at two KFCs. She washes dishes at one for $7.75 and mops floors at the other for $8. She says she must work four or five hours each week off the clock.

She needed to buy a MetroCard last week so she skipped lunch. She shakes her head. “I think I deserve to eat lunch.”

Deserve. That's a powerful word. It speaks to something beyond our individual desires, to something bigger. It's true, too. Workers deserve to be paid enough to pay the rent and feed their families. They deserve to be paid for the hours they work, not forced to work off the clock or any of the myriad other ways New York City fast food restaurants steal wages from workers. They deserve to be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week, not paid straight time in two separate checks. And people who don't recognize that workers deserve these things? Well, there are things they, too, deserve. But nothing good.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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