Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thousands of fast-food workers strike for right to join a union, higher wages

Times Square today
Fast food workers in about 150 cities went on strike today in their campaign to win union representation and higher wages. 

They are part of a growing wave of low-wage workers taking short, sudden strike actions at Walmart, seaports, federal contractors, retail stores and warehouses. Teamsters stand in solidarity with the workers, in particular port truck drivers who have struck employers at the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach

USA Today reported, 
Arrests that began early Thursday morning outside a landmark McDonald's in New York City spread later in the day to Detroit, Chicago and Las Vegas as thousands of emboldened fast-food workers coast to coast put down their burger flippers and picked up picket signs in a strike that included acts of civil disobedience as workers rally for $15 minimum wages. 
Strikers began to gather in more than 100 cities early Thursday, affecting major chains from McDonald's to Wendy's to Burger King. Shortly after 7 a.m. ET on Thursday, police arrested 19 workers who sat down in the street — and refused to move — outside the bustling McDonald's at New York's Times Square, reports the New York City Police Department. Up to several dozen striking fast-food workers were placed in handcuffs and arrested in Detroit, as well. 
For workers, it's about pushing the major fast-food companies to meet their demands for $15-an-hour minimum wages and and the right to form a union without retaliation. For the fast food giants, it's about trying to keep costs — including labor costs — under control in a highly competitive market.
Here are some tweets from the strikes:
@LeonedaInge Fast food workers shut down Morgan St. in dwtn Durham, NC - rallying for $15 /hr.  
ATLRaiseUp BREAKING: #Atlanta workers being arrested right now fighting for $15/hr & union. #StrikeFastFood 
@EconomicPolicy The U.S. leads in low-wage work and pays the lowest wages to low-wage workers. #strikefastfood 
@WiscJobsNow Congresswoman @RepGwenMoore arrested while standing with workers during Milwaukee's #StrikeFastFood! 
Surely workers should have the right to organize.