Fast-food workers demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage walked out in hundreds of cities Tuesday, kicking off a year-long campaign to muster the political power of 64 million low-wage workers in next year’s presidential election.
The walkouts marked the workers’ largest show of force in the three years since they launched a series of rallies to call for higher pay and the right to unionize, according to the advocacy group Fight for $15. The group is backed by the Service Employees International Union.
Tens of thousands of workers and supporters were taking part in rallies planned for 1,000 cities across the nation, beginning around dawn at McDonald’s outlets in downtown Brooklyn, Boston and Philadelphia, among other locations. Protests also were taking place for low-paid home care, child care, farm, nursing home and other workers seeking to make their voices heard.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed a demonstration in Brooklyn, saying Fight for $15 has “changed this city, changed this state, and changed this nation.” New York State has approved a law to gradually increase the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15.
“We need the $15 minimum wage to be the law of this state,” de Blasio said. “We need it to be something that people get all over this city, not just fast food workers. Everyone deserves a $15 minimum wage. ”
Source: USA Today | Paul Davidson