Across the country, thousands of workers in 150 cities from walked off their fast food jobs to show that they can’t wait any longer for companies like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC to raise their pay.
In cities including Chicago, Boston, Atlanta and Miami, fast-food workers were joined by home care workers who are joining the Fight for $15 movement. Since the global fast food strike in May 2014, the movement has continued to spread, with workers walking off their jobs for the first time in Tucson, Ariz.; Minneapolis, Minn., Rochester, N.Y., and Little Rock, Ark.
Local 1991 members were among the many who showed up to support workers striking in Miami. Six fast food workers were arrested in Miami after more than a hundred people blocked a portion of 168 Street in North Miami Beach, at the intersection between a McDonald’s and a Burger King. Read the Miami Herald story here. Check out photos from the event here.
Nationwide, thousands of cooks and cashiers walked off their jobs from more than 1,000 stores, chanting “We Believe That We Will Win,” and vowing to do whatever it takes to secure higher wages and union rights. In Miami six fast-food workers were arrested after blocking North Miami Beach’s busy 168th street in front of both a McDonald’s and Burger King for a half hour. Workers were also arrested in New York CIty, Detroit, Chicago, Little Rock and Las Vegas. All of the Miami workers were released by the late afternoon.
“I am tired of people having our hours cut, being afraid to speak out and being disrespected. I am speaking out because it is time for a change.” said Shontavia Myers, a Fort Lauderdale McDonald’s worker who was arrested. She said she found the experience rewarding. “It was wonderful for me to experience something like this after struggling as much as I have. My story is gonna be heard. Even the officer that arrested me told me that I was doing the right thing and to keep up the good work. After I was arrested I had a message from my manager. I was supposed to be suspended for two weeks, but my manager called me back to work for 11am on Wednesday next week. Our struggle is already starting to pay off.”
Miami native Laura Rollins, 62, who was also arrested, said, “We do a lot of work. I do the work of two or three people when I work. But the money that they pay us for the work that we do is not fair. I am speaking up for my co-workers who are breaking their backs every day but are afraid to step up. I am afraid too. But It just isn’t fair.”
Workers went on strike in every region of the country at major fast-food restaurants including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC. Across Florida the movement continues to spread, with workers walking off their jobs in Miami, Tampa, and Orlando.
Inspired by fast-food workers, other kinds of low-wage workers are beginning to join the movement to boost pay in fast-growing service sector jobs. In Florida, airport, hotel and hospital workers, union and non-union alike, have waged massive campaigns that have achieved hard fought victories for better pay, improved conditions and the right to organize.