A group of fast-food workers in Florida intend to strike Tuesday, after a 20-year-old female staffer was physically attacked by a male customer over a lack of straws on display at the counter on New Year’s Eve, reports say.
On Jan. 8, the Tampa Bay Times reported that the organizers of the protest, who are allied with the wage activist group Fight for $15, will protest at the St. Petersburg McDonald’s location where employee Yasmine James was attacked across the counter by Daniel Taylor. Footage of the assault has since gone viral on social media, prompting citizens and fast-food employees alike to demand change at a corporate level.
According to the Times, the strike will commence around 11 a.m. and attract “dozens” of fast-food workers "to demand the chain and others like it provide training for employees and managers on how to handle violence in the workplace.”
“It’s very clear I’m not safe at McDonald’s,” Tampa McDonald’s worker Gail Rogers said in a statement through Fight for $15, according to the outlet. "I’m going on strike because at McDonald’s, we’re subjected to all types of behavior that has no place at work — from physical attacks and armed robberies, to sexual harassment, to racial discrimination."
James’ attorneys, meanwhile, said at a news conference last week that the young woman is “still traumatized by what happened” but is on the road to recovery, as per Fox 13.
“Not knowing if someone’s going to come back and try to do the same thing or someone feels empowered by what they saw. Ultimately, she’s a young woman. She’s 20 years old. This is a job she put so much into,” lawyer Michele Rayner-Goolsby said.
“I work so close with the customers and now that everyone knows, some people don’t agree with this, they can do anything. People can just come through the drive-thru,” James agreed.
On Jan. 7, McDonald's spokesman Khim Aday said that the company is working to offer employees counseling and has hired an external investigator to look into the incident, as per the Times.
“Our highest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants,” reps for the Golden Arches confirmed to WFLA last week. "We have been in contact with the police department and are fully cooperating with their investigation.”
Reps for Fight for $15 did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Michael Bartiromo and Michelle Gant, as well as wire services from the Associated Press, contributed to this report.