Thursday, August 1, 2013

Low-wage workers in Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle join struggle

She tells them she supports their decision to walk out.
McDonald's manager in Milwaukee sides with workers, walks out.
Hundreds of low-wage workers walked off the job in Chicago, Milwaukee and Seattle this morning during the fourth day of a nationwide drive to raise their wages. The movement spread beyond the seven cities targeted by organizers when employees in the Pacific Northwest joined in with short strikes of their own.

Low-wage workers are demanding an end to retaliation for organizing a union. In all three cities, they went from one business to another to protest poverty wages and workplace abuse. It was expected to be a daylong affair, with final rallies taking place in Chicago, Milwaukee and Seattle in the early evening.
Workers in other industries have joined the revolt, which began last fall when low-wage retail and fast-food workers walked off the job in New York. Sudden short strikes have been used to elicit public support for low-wage workers at warehouse companies, government contractors and the waste industry. Today, Teamster paramedics and EMTs in El Centro, Calif., are in the fifth day of a strike to fight low wages paid by Gold Cross Ambulance. Teamsters yesterday protested pharmaceutical distributor McKesson’s retaliation against workers at a Lakeland, Fla., warehouse.

In Chicago, Samwiseoccupies reported about 200 people were marching from store to store raising awareness about the dire state of their wages. By mid-morning, workers had already visited Wendy’s, Subway, Sally’s Beauty Supply and Sears and were expected to visit many more sites.

Striking employees chanted in English and Spanish:
“Workers can’t survive on $8.25” and “On strike! Shut it down! Chicago is a union town!”
Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, a McDonald’s manager joined her workers in walking out. , She said they deserved higher pay and it was time to stand up for it, according to Wisconsin Jobs Now’s Twitter feed. Protesters later moved out to a Burger King in the city, where all workers walked off the job.
Viva la causa! reported there was a great turn out for the Milwaukee protests:
Too many striking workers, too few seats on the buses. What a great problem!
Seattle workers aren't getting full pay from local Starbucks.
And in Seattle, where low-wage workers weren’t expected to strike, protesters held a teach-in at a local Starbucks about wage theft. They also showed up at a Burger King restaurant to protest low wages.

The Teamsters Facebook page is filled with comments supporting the low-wage workers:
Jim Lutz: Gotta give em Credit for taking 1st step -a hard one when you only make 8 bucks an hour
Dale Felder: These workers are shining examples of bravery, fortitude, and determination. Because of their wonderful actions changes will appear. There is hope for the future of the 99%ers!
Rodney Justice:  If anyone would take the time to see just how much a McDonald's make per month they would see just how right the workers are.
Andy Newhausen:  I like the way it said allow workers to unionize, I believe they should just do it and to bad for the company. Big companies have reaped huge profits at the laborers expense for two long, pay them a fair wage or close your doors !
You can show your support for low-wage workers by adding your name to their petition here.

The petition says:
I support workers who are on strike for a living wage and better working conditions. No job in this country should pay so little that employees can’t make ends meet.