Worldwide Fast-Food Strike to Hit Miami This Week: Employees Demand Better Wages UPDATED

Categories: Food Politics

Courtesy of Low Pay Is Not OK
Fast-food employees to strike in Miami.
Traditionally, fast-food work has been considered entry-level, with the majority of employees being students needing a few dollars in their pocket.

These days that's no longer the case, with many adults taking jobs at McDonald's, Burger King, and the like to provide for their families. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the majority of fast-food workers between 2010 and 2012 were high school graduates between the ages of 25 and 54. The average wage for these employees: $7 to $10 an hour.

See also: Burger King and Ronald McDonald vs. Workers in Rap Battle on South Beach

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Miami Shores Couple to Village: Let Us Grow Our Vegetable Garden

Courtesy of Institute for Justice
Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts are fighting city hall.
For 21 years, Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll have lived in a modest three-bedroom house in Miami Shores, a quiet village of about 10,000 residents with well-maintained houses and well-manicured lawns. There, the married couple grew vegetables on their front lawn for nearly two decades.

Ricketts, a retired architect, tells Short Order that she planted the garden, a combination of both edible produce and nonedible florals, to maintain a healthy lifestyle. "Look at the condition of the food we're buying now. The only way we can be sure of what we eat is to grow it ourselves.You can't get any more local than eating vegetables from your front yard."

See also: Potted Garden in Your Yard? Prepare to Pay a Fine!

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Miami Fast Food Workers: New Website Asks "Are You Robbed on the Job?"

Low Pay is not OK
Protesters converge on a Miami McDonald's to demand better wages.
Fast food workers across America as getting tired of the vast difference between the salaries of the corporate bigwigs and their meager earnings. The difference, by the way, is astounding.

According to a Nerdwallet report, if broken down into an hourly wage, the CEO of McDonald's would earn $9,247 every 60 seconds. Compare that to the average hourly wage of an employee in his ranks, which is $7.73.

See also: Miami Fast-Food Workers to Protest at Miami McDonald's for Fair Wages

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Miami Fast-Food Workers to Protest at Miami McDonald's for Fair Wages

Thumbnail image for burgerkingronaldmcdonald.jpg
Low Pay is not OK
McDonald's workers protest for better wages.
Last week, McDonald's workers in New York, California, and Michigan filed class-action lawsuits against the fast-food giant. They claim Mickey D's "illegally underpaid employees by erasing hours from their time cards, not paying overtime, and ordering them to work off the clock," according to the New York Times.

The combined lawsuits demand that McDonald's, which earned nearly $5.6 billion in profits in 2013, pay back the stolen wages and stop its illegal theft of workers' pay.

See also: The Burger King and Ronald McDonald Rap Battle for Better Pay: Watch Here (Video)

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Versailles Restaurant Slapped With Whistleblower Retaliation and Defamation Lawsuit UPDATED

Riki Altman
Iconic restaurant Versailles has been slapped with a lawsuit.
Attorneys have filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade Civil Court that claims Versailles Restaurant fired two employees for reporting illegal goings-on at the iconic eatery, including hiring undocumented workers, sexual-orientation harassment, and wage and hour violations.

The lawsuit, which names Versailles and its owner, Felipe A. Valls Sr., as defendants, was filed this past Friday on behalf of former Versailles general manager Rigoberto Hernandez and Adriam Mena, a former waiter there. The suit lists numerous charges the two men claim they witnessed during their time at the restaurant, which attracts some of Miami's top politicians. Hernandez claims the restaurant's human resources officer and co-owner, Janet Valls, said that "she could make the undocumented workers 'disappear' if they were ever investigated by immigration authorities."

See also: Versailles Cited For 52 Safety Violations During Routine Inspection

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Miami Restaurateurs Weigh in on Central Florida Restaurant's Obamacare Surcharge

Bill Wisser
Miami chefs, including Michael Schwartz, weigh in on an Obamacare surcharge.
Gator's Dockside, a restaurant group in Lake Mary, Florida, has gotten a lot of press lately. It seems the corporate-owned restaurants are charging a 1 percent Affordable Care Act surcharge to compensate for the restaurants' additional costs associated with providing health care to their full-time employees when Obamacare's employer mandate begins in 2015. The additional monies collected are shown on a diner's check as a separate line item called "ACA Surcharge."

According to CNN, Gator's Dockside employs 500 people, with about half working full-time. Currently, only management receives health care, but the restaurant must offer benefits to all full-time employees once the Obamacare mandate goes into effect. The fee will allow the company to continue offering full-time hours to workers instead of cutting back hours or laying off employees, according to Sandra Clark, the group's director of operations.

But is adding a surcharge to a diner's check the best way to recoup some of the costs involved with offering health insurance to employees? Granted, Obamacare will raise the cost of doing business in the restaurant industry, but will it do the same to every small business in the United States? Should we then see surcharges with our dry cleaning or when we get our teeth cleaned? And could Miamians ever see an Obamacare surcharge at local restaurants?

We asked several Miami restaurateurs and chefs to weigh in on how they feel about an Obamacare surcharge. The answers are passionate and thought-provoking.

See also Florida Restaurant Chain Charging Obamacare Surcharge

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The Burger King and Ronald McDonald Rap Battle for Better Pay: Watch Here (Video)

Screenshot via YouTube
The king and the clown rapping.
Yesterday afternoon, the Burger King and Ronald McDonald got together in a show of solidarity in an old-school rap battle against their employees.

Why would the clown and the king team up? Well, they've got a lot in common. They're both the faces of mega fast-food corporations. And they both pay their hourly workers sub-standard wages.

See also: Burger King and Ronald McDonald vs. Workers in Rap Battle on South Beach

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Burger King and Ronald McDonald vs. Workers in Rap Battle on South Beach

Low Pay is Not OK
The clown and the king join forces against their own employees.
Tomorrow afternoon, two rivals in the fast food world will get together for one day in a battle that pits greedy corporate giants against the workers of America.

For one day only, Ronald McDonald and Burger King will team up in a rap battle against two of their own employees. At stake: a fair working wage and dignity.

It all goes down near the McDonald's at 400 Lincoln Road in South Beach on Thursday, December 5 at 4 p.m.

No, you're not going slightly nutso here. The rap battle of the fast food giants is Miami Beach's answer to the mass strikes and protests scheduled across the country tomorrow as fast food workers take to the streets to demand a fair wage for the jobs they do. Employees from McDonald's, Miami-based Burger King, and other fast food chains are asking for an increase in their hourly wage to $15 and the right to unionize.

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Barack Obama's Miami Menu: Pepitas, Key West Shrimp, and Tenderloin

Categories: Food Politics

Barack Obama was well-fed on Friday.
This past weekend, President Barack Obama came to Miami to attend several fundraisers and mingle with South Florida's movers and shakers.

The President was in for a brief 24-hour period, flying in to Miami International Airport at 3:45 p.m. on Friday -- just in time to play hell with weekend commuters making an early break for the ride home. Obama left our area at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon with just enough time to get in a round of golf with Alonzo Mourning at the Grande Oaks Golf Club in Davie.

See also: Obama in Miami Today to Chase Latin Vote -- and Money

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Find a New Home for Scotty's Landing?

Categories: Food Politics

All photos by Laine Doss
Can I just grab a beer and a sunset?
Yesterday, a group of about 100 Coconut Grove residents rallied at Grove Spot to "Stop Grove Bay."

In case you're not up on your local politics, this is the newest incarnation of the plan to demolish Scotty's Landing, Chart House, and the adjacent Grove Key Marina and replace them with retail shops, restaurants, a marina, and parking.

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