Fight for $15: At least 12 arrests in Chicago fast food workers strike

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Fast food workers from across Chicago are joining those in other cities across America in a one-day walkout to press their demand for a higher minimum wage.

Organizers want a minimum of $15 an hour, plus changes in working conditions; Illinois' current minimum wage is $8.25 an hour; the national average for fast food workers is about $9.00.

On Thursday morning, there were so many protesters that they blocked traffic on 87th Street between State and Wabash. Police have arrested at least a dozen people.

Two months ago, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that McDonald's shares the responsibility for working conditions at its franchised restaurants, as well as its company-owned locations.

One of Chicago's biggest protests is outside the McDonald's at 87th and S. Wabash Ave.; McDonald's employee Jessica Davis says, "We've been going strong for two years now; we're just escalating our fight. We're going to do whatever it takes nonviolently, peacefully, to get our message across. We're not backing down; we're here demanding $15 an hour and a union, to take care of our families."

The traditional business model of fast food restaurants has been to offer minimum-wage jobs to teenagers to give them access to the job market and give them workplace experience; but teenagers have been largely crowded out of those jobs by people over age 20, many of whom have children.

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  • ml57

    This farce brings to mind a classic line from Animal House with Dean Wormer explaining life to Flounder.
    “X, Y, and Z is no way to go through life” Fill in the blanks with their qualifying life skills.

  • Southsider

    McDonald’s can more than afford to pay them $15. Especially, since they can make a double cheese burger $1. Just a case of billionaires wanting to take home 5 billion instead of 3. On the flip side, lets come back down to planet earth. There are technicians (IT and medical) that don’t make $15/hr or make that at entry level after they complete school. Don’t get me wrong I hope they get it but it just seems ridiculous pay for flipping hamburgers.

  • diane

    Of the twelve arrested……..How many of them actually work at a fast food restaurant? How many were from Chicago? How many were getting paid for today’s activities by the SEIU?

    From what I saw on the local news this morning ,these folks looked like well-trained professional “protestors” for the sake of the union and Mayor Emanuel’s re-election campaign.

  • Go mcd

    How about fast food hire. Teenagers and student who would appreciate this entry level job. And not demand from their employer that they give them more money. Lately you go their to get food and thier is no thank you. Or the food is wrong. Maybe. When they appreciate the customer. More people would get behind them and support thier quest for 15

  • Ismael

    If I were the owner of a franchise I would tell all my workers to feel free to look for a job that would pay them $15.00 an hour. They will get a pay raise but some of them will lose their jobs. It is just the way the economy works. Less people will work harder to make up for that money and some customers will pass on fast food restaurants.

  • John

    The Silver Lining: no one eats fast food, the nation becomes healthier, less health problems and hospital cost. Give them $20 bucks and hour.

  • EdB

    You can almost hear to overhaul of the insides of fast food joints already. More streamlining, computers and automation, less human hands, less mistakes, less complaints, less attitude.
    Same food, faster, safer, cleaner.
    And those employees that remain… probably held to higher standards like proof of citizenship, high school diplomas required, proficient in English, mandatory drug/alcohol testing both part of the hiring process and random per year, performance reviews, background checks by outside agency.



  • Haywood Jamal Jablomie

    If the media was the least bit interested in telling the truth and actually informing readers, they’d reveal that this whole “Fight for $15” movement is a SCAM by the SEIU union, which is more of a Maxist activist group than a genuine union.

    It was the SEIU that founded Mi Familia Vota, a group that has registered tens of thousands of illegal aliens to vote Democratic.

    It’s the SEIU that sends “false flag” operatives to Republican and Tea Party rallies wearing shirts and carrying signs with racist slogans on them and attempt to get in front of the news cameras. They have sent thugs to Tea Party rallies and pro-2nd Amendment rallies to start fights.

    It was the SEIU that bused hundreds of legal but non-English-speaking immigrants to the polls in Ohio with “sample ballots” all filled out.

    The SEIU spends its union dues on the most extreme left wing groups and political candidates out there.

    The SEIU has zero interest in fast food workers. The SEIU only sees them as a vast, untapped source of union dues to finance their radical activities. The fast food workers are just pawns.

    The SEIU also recently tried to organize librarians. They didn’t fall for it.

    But if you tell a bunch of unsophisticated, uneducated minimum wage workers “sign here….and we’ll get you $15 an hour!”, of course they will fall for it.

  • Maria Schrieder

    Your statement alone provides your worth. The work is “ask” not as. “Yall” is not a word. If you want a raise how about present how you bring profit, incentive or gain to the company to deserve th r raise, than maybe this should be at least thought of. People in the career field are aware of the process to ask for a raise. Spend this time researching and educating yourself, than maybe you will see changes in your disliked life.

  • lesann100

    This is sooo hilarious, no skilled workers wanting skilled pay……anyone who thinks they should be able to raise a family on min wage no skill is an idiot….and it explains why you are still in a min wage no skilled job at age 35…..go ahead raise it, then watch your cheeseburger, fry meal deal go from $3 to $10……and when these wages take effect, watch unemployment jump, or hours dropped.

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