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Fast Food Strike: Chicago

Twenty days after New York fast food employees struck for higher wages, a group of Chicago workers have taken the torch.

A woman with a megaphone leads strike calls in front of a Chicago McDonald’s.

Photo: Chris Dilts (Flickr)

Strikers argue that Chicago’s minimum wage of $8.25 doesn’t pay them enough to support themselves and their families.

Chicago’s fast food and retail workers struck Wednesday for higher wages, following in the footsteps of the New York City food workers who did the same thing earlier in the month.

The “Fight for $15” campaign — named for its goal of securing $15-per-hour wage for workers — included employees from McDonald’s, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Macy’s, Sears, Victoria’s Secret and Whole Foods, among other chains.

Striking workers argue that the $15 wage is, simply, a demand to be given the means to live with dignity.

When asked by The Nation what she would do with $15 per hour, Whole Foods cashier Trish Kahle replied, simply, “I could have heat all winter.”

Impacts of the strike on the operations of retail and fast food outlets have been minimal.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Danya Proud, McDonald’s spokeswoman, has said that despite a few worker walkouts, “downtown restaurants remain open, and it remains business as usual for us.”

Read more:

  • Chicago Fast Food, Retail Workers Strike Today (Chicago Tribune)
  • Fast Food Walkout Planned In Chicago (Salon)
  • Hundreds Of Service Workers Strike In Chicago (MSNBC)
Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon has been interested in food ethics since she was 15, learned about industrial slaughter, and launched into 10 years of vegetarianism. These days, she strives to be a conscientious omnivore. Now a PhD candidate in folklore, her research has caused her to spend a lot of time in the remote Canadian sub-arctic, where the lake trout (sustainably harvested) tastes amazing.

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