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Mon Jul 29, 2013, 08:53 AM

Fast food strikes intensify in seven cities

The biggest walkout yet begins this morning -- and the strikes could have far-reaching implications for labor
BY JOSH EIDELSON

This morning marks the start of what will likely be the largest fast food worker mobilization in U.S. history, with a New York City walkout today kicking off strikes in seven cities over four days. These work stoppages by non-union workers are the latest escalation in an embattled labor movement’s unprecedented challenge to the overwhelmingly non-union industry, whose ranks are growing and whose conditions are spreading elsewhere in the U.S. economy.

“I know you’re tired of suffering,” KFC employee Naquasia LeGrand told fellow workers gathered with clergy and politicians at a rally last Wednesday announcing that New York City worker-activists had voted to strike this week. “I don’t want to see the next generation suffering and suffering. I don’t want my kids suffering. I want to make sure they have a better future than I do.” Looking out on a crowd of about 150 at the entrance to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, LeGrand added, “So if I want that to happen, I need you guys to stand with me just as long as I’m standing with you.”

As Salon first reported, the fast food effort went public last November, with a strike by about 200 employees of various chains in New York City. Over the past four months, that walkout has been followed by similar work stoppages in five other cities, and a second New York City strike roughly twice as large. Each of those strikes has been backed by the Service Employees International Union and local allies, and each has shared the same demands: a raise to $15 per hour, and the chance to form a union with intimidation by management. This week’s strikes will include five of those six cities – New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, and Milwaukee- and two new ones: Kansas City and Flint, Mich. (A spokesperson for the campaign in Seattle, where workers struck in May, told Salon to expect “a series of escalating direct actions” there this week.)


“I might be doing the work of three people” due to under-staffing, McDonald’s employee Kareem Starks told me after Wednesday’s rally, “but still getting paid one wage.” Starks, a 30-year-old former Parks Department employee, said it’s “been hard trying to live off the minimum wage, $7.25, and support my two kids plus pay rent.” As we spoke, a fellow fast food worker walked over to introduce himself, congratulate Starks on the speech he’d just delivered, and show him a scar on his arm. “I got burned too myself,” he told Starks. “But my manager doesn’t care.”

(much more at link: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/29/fast_food_strikes_intensify_in_seven_cities/

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silvershadow Jul 2013 OP
mountain grammy Jul 2013 #1
Teamster Jeff Jul 2013 #2

Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 10:10 AM

1. Solidarity!

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Response to silvershadow (Original post)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 11:16 AM

2. K&R

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