Fast-Food Strikes, Protests Hit Hundreds Of Cities

Dave Johnson

With Tuesday marking one year before election day the Fight For $15 movement hit the fast-food industry with walkouts and protests in hundreds of U.S. cities. They hope to get presidential candidates talking about raising the minimum wage.

The Fight For $15 movement has two demands. The first, a $15 minimum wage. The second, the right to be represented by a union.

The mayor of Pittsburgh responded by announcing that all city workers will get a $15 minimum wage.

The movement has seen other successes with several cities passing minimum wage hikes in response.

Walkouts In 270 Cities, Protests In Hundreds More

The #FightFor$15 movement has organized walkouts in 270 cities with protests taking place in those and hundreds more across the country. They are asking for a $15 minimum wage and a union.

A few reports from across the country:

Detroit Free Press: “Detroit fast-food workers strike for $15-an-hour wage“:

About 200 workers protested in the dark as cold rain fell outside a McDonald’s in Detroit this morning, demanding the fast-food company supersize their check as part of a national effort aimed at drawing attention to a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour and better benefits.

“I’m here to fight for $15 and a union,” said Lakecha Jackson, 37, a Detroit mother of two young daughters who earns $8 an hour and has been working at the McDonald’s at 15501 Plymouth where the protesters gathered. “That would be a lot for me.”

Chicago news outlet Fox32 reports (video at site):

Tuesday morning, hourly wage earners are taking their fight for a raise to the streets, when walkouts took place in more than 270 cities.

Chicago fast-food cooks and cashiers joined the largest-ever strike to hit America’s fast-food industry on Tuesday, November 10.

According to a report, there are about 2.5 million workers in Illinois who are paid less than $15 per hour.

Orlando Sentinel, “Supporters rally across state and nation in Fight for $15“:

In Central Florida — home to the lowest median wage of any major metropolitan area in the country — several events are scheduled, including a 6 a.m. strike line at the McDonald’s at 4066 South Semoran Blvd. in Orlando and a noon strike line at the McDonald’s at 719 West Vine St. in Kissimmee. Fight for $15 volunteers, Congressional District 9 candidate Susannah Randolph and Osceola County Commissioner Michael Harford are expected to participate.

The main event, though, will be a rally and march to Orlando City Hall late Tuesday afternoon.

Los Angeles Times, “Nationwide minimum wage protests begin in L.A.“:

Los Angeles fast food workers are joining a nationwide “Fight for 15” protest and strike Tuesday calling for a $15 minimum wage and a union.

Workers in 270 cities are expected to walk out in what organizers hope will be the fast food industry’s largest strike ever. A major backer of the Fight for 15 campaign is the Service Employees International Union, which is trying to organize fast food workers in Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles County, workers have already assembled in front of a McDonald’s in Compton. Workers also plan to walk out of a McDonald’s at 7th and Alameda streets. Workers will walk from the McDonald’s locations to Los Angeles City Hall for a protest at 11 a.m.

Minimum Wage Is $7.25

The federal minimum wage is an incredibly low $7.25 – $2.13 for “tipped workers” like waitresses, nail salon workers, or parking attendants. If the minimum were raised 35 million workers (one in four) would be affected, because of the ripple-up effect. Of these, 89 percent are over 20 and 27.7 percent of these have children.

Media Matters for America (MMFA) points out that raising the minimum wage does not cost jobs. MMFA looks to the recent minimum wage increase in Seattle and refutes Fox News propaganda that this has cost jobs, in “Latest Seattle Jobs Numbers Disprove Fox’s Minimum Wage Misinformation,” writing that “… newly-released data from the BLS reveals that Seattle’s food service industry has actually added 1,800 jobs since the start of the year, despite the higher wage:”

According to the Economic Policy Institute the minimum wage would be over $18 today had it kept up with the increase in productivity since 1968.

Yes, this means that the 2013 post, “40% Of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage” is sadly out of date.

The #FightFor15 movement is fighting for a $15 minimum wage and the right for all people to organize or join a union without getting fired for doing it.

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