(WTNH) — Workers at McDonald’s restaurants in Connecticut rest areas are holding a one day strike demanding better wages and benefits, and asking for the state to step in and help.
These workers don’t actually work for McDonald’s, they work for local companies that run the rest areas, and they say those companies are not treating them right. They worked all through the pandemic, but today, they are on the picket line, demanding more from their employers.
“For years, we haven’t had vacation days, we haven’t had sick days, we haven’t had any good health insurance,” said worker Luis Perdomo, through an interpreter.
“Sometimes they don’t bring enough people and we have to do the job of two or three people,” said worker Adolfo Diaz, through an interpreter.
But, of course, they only get the one pay check, and that paycheck did not go up during the pandemic, despite talk of hazard pay.
“I felt obligation to come to work during the pandemic, even with the stress that that brought to me,” Diaz said.
SEIU Local 32BJ is trying to unionize the rest stops, and claims the companies running them, Michell Enterprises and Golden Hawk, are getting in the way.
“When they try to organize to protect their rights, to get what any other worker in America deserve, the company always interferes with us,” said Alberto Bernardez, the Connecticut District Coordinator for SEIU Local 32BJ.
The union wants state government to step in and pressure the companies, since the rest areas they run are technically on state property. They say the pandemic proved just how essential fast food workers really are.
“They have been here for the public, and they think that the public is on their side in this fight,” Bernardez said.
If you do stop by a rest area today, you will see the McDonalds are open. The companies that run them brought in employees from other restaurants to keep things going.