Largest Ever Worker Mobilization In US On Tax Day
Fast-Food Workers to Strike in 230 Cities; Adjunct Professors, Home Care, Child Care, Airport, Industrial Laundry and Walmart Workers to Protest Coast to Coast
#BlackLivesMatter Activists and Students from 200 College Campuses to Join Forces; Global Protests, Strikes to Cover Six Continents
On Tax Day, fast-food workers from Pittsburgh to Pasadena will walk off the job, while adjunct professors, home care, child care, airport, industrial laundry and Walmart workers will march and rally in what will be the most widespread mobilization ever by U.S. workers seeking higher pay.
The two-and-a-half-year-old Fight for $15 will go to college, with protests expected by students from 200 campuses. Activists organizing around #BlackLivesMatter will join in as the ties between the racial and economic justice movements deepen. And the marches and rallies will stretch around the globe, with protests expected in more than 100 cities, in 35 countries, on six continents, from Sao Paolo to Tokyo. The first global strikes coordinated with U.S. workers are scheduled for Italy and New Zealand.
Workers chose tax day both because the date, 4/15, is their demand and because they want to highlight the fact that they are paid so little that too many are forced to rely on public assistance to get by. [The strikes and protests will start a day earlier in Boston out of deference to the April 15 anniversary of the marathon bombing.]
The nationwide strikes and protests will come two weeks after McDonald’s announced it was increasing salaries for a fraction of its workforce by $1. But rather than mollifying employees, the paltry pay move is attracting ridicule and inspiring even more workers to join the walkout.
Two-and-a-half years after it launched in New York City, with 200 cooks and cashiers walking off their jobs demanding $15 an hour and union rights, people working in a range of different industries (including home care, child care, airport services, retail and academia) in the US and around the world have joined the Fight for $15 movement. What seemed crazy— workers’ demand for $15 an hour—has caught on and is now reality in SeaTac, Seattle and San Francisco. From coast to coast, cities, states and companies are racing to raise wages well above the federal minimum of $7.25. Now Democrats and leading economists are increasingly pointing to strengthening working Americans’ freedom to form unions as a key solution to boost wages and restore broad-based prosperity, something fast-food workers have been saying since their first strike in November, 2012. And the urgent need for solutions to America’s low-wage crisis isalready emerging as a key issue in the run-up to the 2016 election
On Wednesday, the Fight for $15 —the movement Slate said, “managed to completely rewire how the public and politicians think about wages;” MSNBC said, “entirely changed the politics of the country;” and Fortune said, “transformed labor organizing from a process often centered on nickel-and-dime negotiations with a single employer into a social justice movement that transcends industry and geographic boundaries,”—will wage what is expected to be the largest-ever mobilization of U.S. workers seeking higher pay, with strikes, rallies and protests to be held across the country, and around the world.