Fast Food Workers and Other Low-Wage Employees Strike In 190 Cities Today
Fast food workers along with other low-wage employees in trades like the airline and home care industries went on strike Thursday in nearly 200 cities nationwide. Workers are calling for $15 an hour and a union. Today's strikes may be the largest work stoppage in the industry's history.
The Guardian reports that 40,000 airline workers are expected to strike. They wrote a collective letter to the CEO’s of American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.
“We work hard and we care about our passengers because we work face to face with them every day,” the letter states. “But we don’t understand why, when we work so hard for you, that you an the subcontractors you hire are going out of your way to try to keep us in poverty.”
Federal workers in Washington, D.C., are also on strike to demand President Obama raise the wages of employees contracted by the government to $15. Obama had signed an executive order in February to raise the minimum wage to federally-contracted employees to $10.10.
The strike approximately marks the second-year anniversary of the first big fast-food strikes in November 2012, when more than 100 fast food workers walked off the job in New York City.
"Melinda Robinson of Kansas City, Missouri, and her 5-year-old daughter, Mercy, marched Thursday with about 100 people in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, seeking a $15 wage and union.
"We need a living wage to be able to support our families. They don't think we deserve it," said Robinson, who has six children and makes $9 per hour working at a Subway."
With other low-wage workers joining in the strikes today, the movement is inspiring various low-wage workers to stand up.
Al-Jazeera America reported:
"Andrew Ferguson, a Dollar Tree employee in Detroit, Mich., said he joined the strike after being approached by organizers from the local branch of the fast food campaign, Detroit 15 (D15). "The area where I live in Detroit, most people are struggling," he said. "I'm one of those people who's struggling. I would personally just love to make a livable wage, because I'm passionate about my job, I enjoy working in retail, and I enjoy working with people.'"