Workers in as many as 190 cities around the country are expected on Thursday to demonstrate for a $15-an-hour wage, according to organizers, in what would be a dramatic escalation of the nationwide push to boost the wages of low-wage workers.
This builds on the foundation of the fast-food strikes of the past year, which helped elevate the issue of corporations trapping their workers in poverty to bolster their bottom lines, and supplied the political momentum for President Obama's executive order requiring federal contractors to pay a $10.10 minimum wage.
Thursday's actions are slated to embrace the full spectrum of low-wage workers, with airport workers, home-care aides and maintenance workers joining fast-food industry workers. The #StrikeFastFood website has details as well as a petition that allows people to declare themselves in solidarity with the strikers.
Zeeshan Aleem at Policy.Mic writes that the Thursday protests, as well as the Black Friday protests at various Walmarts around the country, are "part of a broader trend of unrest in low-wage jobs that has triggered what many see as a tipping point in the conversation about fair pay for working-class Americans."
Aleem quotes Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, who says that the $15 minimum wage law being passed in Seattle, as well as other minimum wage victories in cities such as San Francisco and, just this week, Chicago, were made possible by these worker protests.
To join or follow the Thursday protests, visit strikefastfood.org or #StrikeFastFood on Twitter.