Tags: msnbc | chris | hayes

MSNBC's Hayes Compares Fast Food Strike to Memphis Civil Rights Fight

By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   Saturday, 06 Apr 2013 01:01 PM

An MNSBC host Thursday night compared New York City's striking fast food workers to the Memphis sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968 in one of the most major civil rights actions during that time period.

Earlier that day, more than 400 workers from 60 restaurants walked away from their jobs, reports Business Insider, demanding higher wages and the rights to organize. A similar strike was waged last November, and Thursday night, “All In” host Chris Hayes saluted them.

He claimed that like the Memphis walkout, the New York City workers' struggle is also important. The Memphis workers were supported by Dr. Martin Luther King, who spoke on their behalf in Memphis on the day he was killed, 45 years ago. Hayes showed footage from that speech, when King said “We are saying we are determined to be men, we are determined to be people. We are saying that we are God’s children. And that we don’t have to live like we are forced to live.”

Hayes said New York fast food workers' strike could be the “starting point of a struggle that will not end.”

“In 45 years, will we look back at today at this unlikely strike in New York City as the starting point of a struggle that will not end, but that could lead to a more decent wage and dignity of work for these workers and millions of other people who serve and cook food for a living in this country?” he said.

On the show, Hayes urged viewers to put themselves in the shoes of someone like Domino's delivery driver “Gregory,” who spoke to the New York Times about trying to raise a daughter and live in the city while making $7.25 an hour.

“Life in New York City at $7.25 an hour is bailing out a boat with a hole that keeps getting bigger,” said Hayes. “You cannot make the math work. No amount of hard work makes $7.25 an hour add up to a livable wage. No amount of determination or stoic nobility makes the math work. The math does not work at $7.25 an hour. If you make $7.25 an hour, you will be poor and you will be in debt.”

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