Pro-labor coalition groups and backers of the $15 minimum wage were on hand Wednesday night as four workers at the First Hill McDonald’s walked off the job as a planned day of worldwide protest against low wages and unfair practices got an early start in Seattle.
“We are not respected by McDonalds corporation,” one striking worker who has been employed by the company for eight months and now makes 15 cents more than the minimum wage told CHS. “We as a team don’t get treated as such. This is about our self respect and dignity.”
A rally is planned Thursday morning in Cal Anderson Park at the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed hour of 6:30 AM before workers and supporters march on another international provider of breakfast fast food. The actions are part of a global day of action planned for May 15th to continue to pressure international fast food chains to raise wages and improve their policies for workers.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray made a May Day announcement of his plan to raise Seattle’s minimum wage to $15. The plan is now in the hands of the City Council and Socialist first-year representative and labor advocate Kshama Sawant.
A statement on the Seattle strikes sent on behalf of pro-labor group Working Washington is below.
SEATTLE FAST FOOD WORKERS STRIKE
One-day action part of global day of protest against low wages;
Strikes planned all day;
Rallies planned at Cal Anderson Park at 6:30 a.m. and Westlake Park for 4 p.m.
SEATTLE (May 15, 2014) – The same fast food workers who paved the way for Mayor Ed Murray’s historic minimum wage proposal today are going on strike as part of a global movement of workers calling on giant corporations to pay employees $15/hour.
“I’m going on strike because I deserve to make a decent living to support myself and my children without having to depend on public assistance,” said Crystal Thompson, a Domino’s Pizza employee from Seattle. “I’ve been working for Domino’s for five years and am still making minimum wage; this has to change.”
Workers at stores across Seattle will walk off their jobs or not report for duty throughout the day Thursday.
Striking workers are demanding that their employers, mostly billion-dollar corporations, pay workers higher wages. The workers also are taking credit for pressuring the Seattle City Council to consider a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour.
Fast food workers in Seattle have staged previous strikes on May 30 and Aug. 29, 2013. They’ve also participated in boycotts and protests, building a movement that’s resulted in the most progressive minimum wage proposal ever considered in a major U.S. city.
The day’s activities kick off with a rally scheduled for 6:30 a.m. at Cal Anderson Park and 4 p.m. at Westlake Park. Exact strike locations to be announced.