Texas Fast-Food Workers Joining Nationwide Strike
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.