Fight for $15 Movement Hits Iowa

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Above Photo: A group of fast-food workers, home care and child care workers, and community supporters protest outside of Capital Square on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, before marching to the steps of the Iowa Events Center where the final GOP debate before the Iowa Caucus was being held. The workers were fighting for a higher minimum wage and a union. Kelsey Kremer/The Register

DesMoines, IA – An international underpaid workers strike visited Iowa for the first time Thursday, the day of the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses.

Some 150 workers in fast food, child care and other low-wage industries took over westbound East University Avenue during the lunch hour. Bearing signs and yelling, “We work. We sweat. Put 15 on our checks,” marchers flushed-out the drive-thru lane of a McDonald’s.

A Des Moines police car arrived at McDonald’s after the group made its third circle around the restaurant, flashing its lights and sirens. It trailed the group, which completed its rotation then moved onto the sidewalk. No arrests were made, according to group leaders.

The movement’s noon demonstration was the second of three Thursday. The group also plans to picket outside the Iowa Events Center, where Republican  presidential candidates will take the debate stage once more before the Iowa caucuses on Monday.

Terrance Wise, a 36-year-old fast food employee from Kansas City, said workers deserve a $15 minimum wage and a union.

“We are taking to the streets to make the public aware of our plight,” Wise said.