Food Programme

BBC Radio 4

Arts, Food

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Food 34

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat


Fast Food Workers

July 20th, 2015

Episode 552 of 621 episodes

With a new "living wage" announced Sheila Dillon explores the world of fast food workers. In the U.S. a campaign over low pay, started in 2012, has now gone global. Saying they could no longer live on the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 the workers called for a salary based on $15.00 an hour. The protests spread to more than 200 cities and inspired workers in other parts of the world to stand up for better pay. The campaign received the backing of President Barack Obama and cities including Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles have now increased the minimum wage. Sheila hears from one fast food work in New York's Bronx, Flavia Cabrell. She holds down two jobs including one at a McDonalds' restaurant and low pay led her to take action and join the protests. She explains why she's motivated by wanting to change the future for her children. Meanwhile low pay was one of the main targets in Chancellor George Osborne's summer budget. Changes to tax credits and the introduction of a "national living wage" was the outcome. But some workers say the changes will still mean they live a precarious financial existence with zero hours contracts still a dominant model in the food industry and the living wage only applicable to over 25's. Producer: Dan Saladino.