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Fast Food Strikes Spread To More Major US Cities

Milwaukee, St. Louis and Detroit have joined the list of cities where fast food workers have struck for $15/hour wages and the right to unionize.

Neon McDonald's sign

Photo: wbeem (flickr)

Detroit's May 10 fastfood strike may be the largest the country has ever seen.

In the weeks following strikes by fast food employees in New York City and Chicago, similar protests have also cropped up in Detroit, St. Louis and Milwaukee. In all cases, workers are demanding pay increases to $15 per hour and the right to unionize.

Milwaukee

In Milwaukee, strikers have formed the Milwaukee Workers Organizing Committee and are calling their campaign “Raise Up MKE.” As with demonstrations in other cities, strikes in Milwaukee have been backed by various unions and trade groups, including the Service Employees International Union.

Similar to Chicago, strikers include not only workers from major fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell, but also retail employees of companies like TJ Maxx and Dollar Tree.

St. Louis

St. Louis’ hastily-planned strike only expected 50 to 70 participants on May 9, but over 100 fast-food employees ended up joining the walkout. The St. Louis campaign, called “STL Can’t Survive On $7.35,” has been organized by the St. Louis Organizing Committee.

Detroit

The largest fast-food strike of the year, including more than 400 workers, took place in Detroit on May 10. One McDonald’s outlet brought in replacement workers, only to see the substitutes walk off the job as well.

Detroit’s movement, called “D15,” anticipates further action throughout the summer.

Read more:

  • Largest Fast Food Strike Yet As Workers Walk Out In Michigan (MSNBC)
  • Surprise Fast Food Strike Planned In St. Louis (Salon)
  • Fast Food Strikes Hitting Fifth City: Milwaukee (The Nation)
  • Wave Of Fast Food Strikes Hits St. Louis (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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