Union leaders say fast-food strikes unlikely to result in unionization

Aug. 1, 2013 at 7:57 AM

NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Some labor leaders said it's unlikely strikes in the U.S. fast-food industry will result in unionization because of the 75 percent employee turnover rate.

Fast-food workers in New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Mo., and Flint, Mich., have held one-day walkouts and protests, seeking $15 an hour, more than twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25 many of them are making.

Nelson Lichtenstein, a labor historian at the University of California, said he's doubtful fast-food worker unions would be created out of the strikes, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

He said potential unions should be cautious of the current enthusiasm.

"You pour in a lot of resources, saying, 'Yes it does work,' and a year later it disintegrates," he said.

Other labor leaders said the high turnover rate of fast-food workers -- 75 percent -- makes unionization impossible.

The one-day strikes were expected to continue Thursday with a walkout planned in Milwaukee, the Times said.

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