U.S. workers rally in first Fight for $15 protest since Trump win

U.S. workers rally in first Fight for $15 protest since Trump win

Troy Powers
November 29, 2016

The workers are employed by private contractors and strike organizers say many work for minimum wage.

Workers demonstrated outside of the McDonald's restaurant on Prospect Street at 6 a.m.to fight for what they believe is a fair wage. Signs said "We won't back down" and "Strike for $15 and our future". "This is the fourth anniversary of us going out on strike and demanding better wages and demanding benefits and union rights from our employers".

"The Fight for $15's impact towers over past congressional action because it has been propelled by what workers need - not what moderate compromise might allow", said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. Organizers said many participants meant to risk arrest throughout the day to convey the message that "we aren't going anywhere". But Chicago Department of Aviation officials said they don't anticipate disruptions.

Betty Douglas, a McDonald's worker from St. Louis, told Fight for $15 that she was still paid $7.90 an hour after eight years on the job.

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While the push for increased wages has been moving across the country, some states haven't garnered a great deal of attention, perhaps due to political climate or other issues at hand.

New York City workers will see $15 dollars an hour as minimum wage over the next few years.

The first major wage rally under the Fight for $15 umbrella in Kansas City took place in mid 2013, when about 500 people gathered in Gillham Park and marched up 39th Street to Broadway, calling for higher pay and the right to unionize.

The raises won by the movement that started when 200 McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King workers walked off their jobs four years ago demanding $15 and union rights are more than 12 times the $5 billion raise workers got in all 50 states after the last federal minimum wage increase, approved by Congress in 2007. "We invest in opportunities for McDonald's employees to finish high school, earn a college degree and develop the valuable skills necessary to build successful careers even beyond our restaurants".