Hundreds of fast food workers in Chicago joined a nationwide strike today calling it the Fight for 15: $15 dollars an hour. Most say they make around $9.
Nationally, it’s being billed as the biggest one-day strike by minimum wage workers ever. The Chicagoland rallies were part of a day of protest nationwide, as fast-food and retail workers in some 60 cities walk off the job to back demands for more money.
They say they’re tired of working full-time and still struggling to afford food and shelter.
“Every time I ask for a raise, they tell me “You shouldn’t have joined that union. You ain’t getting no raise,’ said Tyree Johnson, a McDonald’s Employee. “But I’m fighting for $15 and I will get it.”
The event in The Loop followed a rally at the Rock n Roll McDonald’s in River North. About 200 people were there including some McDonald’s and Walmart employees as well as other members of the Chicago Teachers Union and Service Employees International. They blasted the effects of low wages not just on these workers, but on the nation’s economy.
“We end up subsidizing McDonald’s and all these low-wage employers by providing their workers with assistance,” said Rep Jan Schakowsky for the 9th District.
The congresswoman went on to mock the McDonald’s employee budget tool and the advice it offers for living on a low income.
But it’s not just McDonald’s, these protesters are targeting about 20 national brands.