- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 29, 2013

The retail lobby is fighting back against nationwide worker strikes for better pay, calling it “orchestrated theater” by labor unions, the Hill reported.

Fast-food workers around the nation called for a massive strike on Thursday, billing it as the largest industry-wide job walk-off in the past year’s push for better pay.

Employees with McDonald’s Corp., Wendy’s Restaurants LLC, Burger King Worldwide Inc. and others — including retailers, like Macy’s Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp — have all vowed to walk off their jobs, demanding the right to unionize and increased pay, up to $15 per hour.

“Today’s publicity stunt is just further proof that the labor movement is not only facing depleted membership rolls, they have abdicated their role in an honest and rational discussion about the American workforce,” said Bill Thorne, the National Retail Federation’s senior vice president, in a statement.

“Retail and restaurant companies pay competitive wages and many offer additional benefits,” he said. “Likewise, a large number of managers in these same companies started as part time or hourly employees themselves.”

The president pushed again on Wednesday for an increased minimum wage, arguing that rates have not kept up with inflation, the Hill reported.

“I think that it is important for us to make sure that we’re rebuilding the infrastructure of this nation,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with “PBS Newshour.”

Mr. Thorne said these protests are part of “a multi-year effort by big labor to diminish and disparage these hard-working Americans by attacking the companies they work for,” The Hill reported.

“The law is clear: if employees want to unionize, they can. But they are not, so unions are paying high-priced public relations firms and work centers to conduct disruptive labor activities,” he added.

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