Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona
“All across the country right now there’s a national movement going on made up of fast-food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity. There is no denying a simple truth. America deserves a raise. Give America a raise. …You know what, if I were looking for a job that lets me build some security for my family, I’d join a union. If I were busting my butt in the service industry and wanted an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, I’d join a union…I’d want a union looking out for me.” — President Obama, Sept 1, 2014, Milwaukee, WI
Tomorrow, Thursday, September 4, fast food workers across the nation and right here at home will strike for higher wages and the right to organize.
From Service Employees Interntional Union (SEIU)…
TUCSON FAST-FOOD WORKERS TO STRIKE FOR FIRST TIME AS FIGHT FOR $15 AND UNION RIGHTS SPREADS
Local McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box Workers Among Those in 150+ Cities Expected To Walk Off Their Jobs
TUCSON – Coming off a convention at which they vowed to do “whatever it takes” to win $15 and the right to form a union, Tucson fast-food workers will walk off their jobs Thursday for the first time as their movement intensifies and continues to spread.
A day after President Obama highlighted their campaign in a Labor Day speech, workers said they will strike at Tucson’s major fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, and Jack in the Box. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters, including Representative Raúl Grijalva, will join fast-food workers on the strike lines.
WHO: Workers at Burger King, McDonald’s and Jack in the Box; Representative Raúl Grijalva, Co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; Rep. Bruce Wheeler; Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford; Former Sen. Paula Aboud; Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías
WHAT: Fast-Food Worker Strike
WHEN: Thursday, September 4 at 7:00 am
Thursday’s strike comes a little more than a month after the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel determined that, despite McDonald’s repeated claims, the company is a joint employer that exerts substantial power over its employees’ working conditions. For nearly two years, McDonald’s and other fast-food workers have been joining together and going on strike, calling for $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation. But time and time again, the company and other industry players have tried to sidestep workers’ calls, inventing a make-believe world in which responsibility for wages and working conditions falls squarely only on the shoulders of franchisees, not the corporations that control how food is served and priced.
As corporations push down real wages for average American workers, a growing number of economists warn that low wages are a barrier to growth that are harming the overall U.S. economy.
A campaign that started in New York City in November 2012, with 200 fast-food workers walking off their jobs demanding $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation, has since spread to more than 150 cities in every region of the country, including the South. The growing fight for $15 has been credited with elevating the debate around inequality in the U.S. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said that it has “entirely changed the politics of the country.” Since the campaign launched, nearly 7 million low-wage workers have seen their wages rise. What seemed like a far-fetched goal–$15 an hour—is now a reality in Seattle, where Bloomberg News said the city adopted “the rallying cry of fast-food workers.”
As it spreads, the movement is challenging fast-food companies’ outdated notion that their workers are teenagers looking for pocket change. Today’s workers are mothers and fathers struggling to raise children on wages that are too low. And they’re showing the industry that if it doesn’t raise pay, it will continue to be at the center of the national debate on what’s wrong with our economy.
Follow all of the nationwide action on strike day at www.strikefastfood.org and #StrikeFastFood.