Fast food workers strike!

Adam DeRose |

Today, fast food workers hit the streets calling on their employers like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Yum! Brands (which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and others) to pay them a living wage. People of faith have joined them on this historic day of action. Learn more about the strikes here.

For far too long, corporate profits have overshadowed the interests of working people in America. People of faith and worker justice advocates are calling attention to the immoral habit of overzealously compensating corporate executives at the expense of the millions of working people who allow our economy to exist.

In Washington, D.C. today, IWJ National Public Policy Director, The Rev. Michael Livingston, joined hundreds of workers, faith leaders and community allies in asking President Obama to sign an executive order guaranteeing a living wage for millions of low-wage workers who serve the public in federal buildings in the nation's capital and at federal sites around the nation.

When the least among us are suffering, all of us are responsible. “You shall not steal” is one of the most important tenants of many faiths, and our government should not allow it to happen in federal buildings.

Yesterday, President Obama praised Pope Francis, who has loaned his prophetic wisdom to poverty, inequality and the global economic system since he began his papacy in March, for his dedication to issues that impact millions of working families.

"Some of you may have seen just last week, the pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length,” President Obama said at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress. “How could it be, (Pope Francis) wrote, that it's not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?"

As people of faith, we know that Pope Francis is amplifying a very basic element of all faith traditions to keep people at the center of values. In America today, often it appears that corporations and their executives value profits over people.

“This increasing inequality is most pronounced in our country, and it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people,” the President added.

Today we’ll hit the streets and join our brothers and sisters working at fast food joints and retail shops across the country because we know they’re standing up for justice and a people-centered economy. As we hold corporations accountable, let us also remind the President of his unique authority—and responsibility—to sign an executive order that can help improve the lives of millions of workers at fast food shops contracted by the federal government. Click here to sign this petition to the President.

If you cannot make it out to a picket line today, please keep these brave workers in your thoughts and prayers.