Down with poverty wages! YES on Measure R!
All photos here taken by Craig Spjut of UA Local 290 Plumbers and Steamfitters Thanks Craig!
shortlink here: http://wp.me/p2w2NH-oo
New York City, via gothamist.com http://gothamist.com/2013/08/29/fast_food_workers_walk_out_to_fight.php 🙂
“Fast food workers are walking out on their jobs today to once again protest low wages, demand the right to unionize and fight for better working conditions. The strikes are occurring in 50 cities including New York City, where there are multiple walk-outs plus a rally planned.
The first walkout was at the McDonald’s at 341 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn was there, as was City Council Member and Public Advocate hopeful Letitia James. James invoked Martin Luther King Jr., quoting the civil rights leader, “It is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.””
“NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fast-food workers staged strikes at McDonald’s and Burger Kings and demonstrated at other stores in sixty U.S. cities on Thursday in their latest action in a nearly year-long campaign to raise wages in the service sector.
The strikes spread quickly across the country and have shut down restaurants in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Raleigh and Seattle, according to organizers.”
KTVU San Francisco: http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/fast-food-strike/nZf4X/
NBC 5 Dallas- Fort Worth, Texas: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Dallas-Fast-Food-Workers-Join-Nationwide-Strike-221626461.html
shortlink here: http://wp.me/p2w2NH-nh
mnemonic here: http://urlet.com/instituting.sounds
Organizers expect retail employees in more cities to join the work stoppage, which follows the country’s first-ever coordinated Walmart store strikes last October, and a high-profile Black Friday walkout November 23. Like Black Friday’s, today’s strike is being framed by the union-backed labor group OUR Walmart as a response to retaliation against worker-activists.
Update (5:30 PM EST Tuesday): Dozens of Southern California Walmart retail employees plan to join this week’s strike starting Thursday. According to organizers, the employees will rally on Thursday morning in Pico Rivera with supporters including US Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), and warehouse workers employed in Walmart-contracted buildings in the region. The retail workers will take part in the “Ride for Respect,” traveling from California to Arizona and New Mexico before arriving in Arkansas. Their caravan will also include two fired warehouse employees, David Garcia and Javier Rodriguez, who allege that their activism cost them their jobs.
Photo credit: Ryan L. Williams
Hundreds of retail and fast food workers went on a coordinated strike this morning to call for a living wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionize without interference.
Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago issues new report: A Case for $15:
Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago / Fight for 15 – Lucha por 15 WOCC: https://www.facebook.com/Fightfor15
Fast Food Forward (NYC): https://www.facebook.com/FastFoodForward
Published on Mar 15, 2013
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Q&A at the March 14, 2013 Senate HELP Committee hearing titled “Keeping up with a Changing Economy: Indexing the Minimum Wage.” Witnesses include Brad Avakian , Commissioner, Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, Portland, OR; Dr. Arindrajit Dube , Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA; Lew Prince , Managing Partner, Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis, MO; Carolle Fleurio , Restaurant Worker, Jonesboro, GA; Melvin Sickler , Franchisee, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Cinnabon, Williamstown, NJ; David Rutigliano , Owner, Southport Brewing Company, Trumbull, CT
Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago issues new report: A Case for $15.
Democracy Now! was there when workers at dozens of restaurants owned by McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell and others went on strike Thursday and rallied in a bid for fair pay and union recognition. Organizers with the Fast Food Forward campaign are seeking an increased pay rate of $15 an hour, about double what the minimum-wage workers are making. Workers and their allies demanded a wage that would let them support their families. Martyna Starosta filed this report.
Fast-food workers walked off the job in New York City Thursday to hold a series of rallies and picket lines in what has been called the largest series of worker actions ever to hit the country’s fast-food industry. Hundreds of workers at dozens of restaurants owned by McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and others went on strike and rallied in a bid for fair pay and union recognition. Organizers with the Fast Food Forward campaign are seeking an increased pay rate of $15 an hour, about double what the minimum-wage workers are making. Workers and their allies demanded a wage that would let them support their families. Democracy Now! co-host Juan González spoke to many of the striking workers for his latest New York Daily News column, “One-day strike by fast-food workers at McDonald’s, Burger King and other restaurants is just the beginning.” [includes rush transcript]
“When a restaurant/hospitality worker complains about not making a living, they are often told things like “no one is forcing you to work in a restaurant” or “it is your choice where you work” or “you just need to improve your working skills to make your work product more valuable and businesses will pay you more” or sometimes even “no one owes you a living.”
You see and hear comments like that all the time.
Why doesn’t that apply to business? Aren’t you choosing to run a restaurant? If the margins are so low in food, why don’t you open a bank or a gold mine? It’s your choice you know. Or maybe if you just brush up on your entrepreneurial skills you can think of a better business to invest your capital in. How about “no one owes you a restaurant?”
I am not trying to be harsh, but I am applying the same logic and the same free market analysis to you as a business owner that is often applied to the working poor”
While boisterous protests targeted Chicago-area Walmarts Friday, a new local union formed in mid-November coordinated a second wave of actions calling for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, well beyond a gradual statewide increase to $10.55 that may be approved next year.
The Illinois minimum wage is currently $8.25 per hour.
The activities were part of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago’s “Fight for 15” campaign. The committee says it already includes employees at more than 100 businesses. After supporting the Walmart rallies, committee members marched down Michigan Avenue and rallied both outside and inside Water Tower Place.
“NYC isn’t the only place fast food workers are in revolt. Today’s strike follows a founding convention held earlier this month by an linked organization, the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago. WWOC claims 200-some members in fast food and retail. Its most dramatic actions took place on Black Friday, when workers leafleted and demonstrated at major companies and dropped a banner inside of Macy’s (they also joined pickets in support of local Wal-Mart workers). “We’re getting all the workers together and we’re standing up against CEOs,” said WOCC member Brittney Smith. “Because there’s more workers than there are CEOs.” Smith, a college student who recently quit her job at the retail chain Express and took a similar job at American Apparel, said she now makes $8.75 an hour. “Some of the time I luck out and I can eat two meals a day,” she said. “But most of the time, I’m eating one.”
Like FFWC in New York, WOCC is a new independent union made up of workers tied together by a shared city and similarly low wages, not a single employer. Both FFWC and WOCC are backed by unions and labor community groups, and so far aren’t recognized by any employers. And they’re making the same demands: allow a fair process for unionization and start paying $15 an hour. Organizers say that could be achieved through union contracts with individual companies, or through joint bargaining with several employers at once. Either way, it’s a heavy lift.
The New York and Chicago campaigns evoke two strategies that have been long debated but infrequently attempted in U.S. labor. First, “minority unionism”: mobilizing workers to take dramatic actions and make demands on management prior to showing support from the majority of employees. Second, “geographic organizing”: collaboration between multiple unions to organize workers at several employers and win public support for raising a region’s standards through unionization. This campaign is also the latest example in which community-based organizing groups, which unions have long leaned on to drum up support for workers, are playing a major role in directly organizing workers to win union recognition.”