Fight 4/15: On Tax Day, U.S. Workers to Wage Largest-Ever Mobilization

For Immediate Release

Fight for $15
Contact: 

Bartees Cox, bartees.cox@berlinrosen.com, (202) 815-6457

Emma Stieglitz, emmaS@berlinrosen.com (646) 200-5307

Jack Temple, jack.temple@berlinrosen.com (734) 395-8441

Fight 4/15: On Tax Day, U.S. Workers to Wage Largest-Ever Mobilization

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

WASHINGTON - 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.

WHO: Workers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts and other fast-food restaurants; students; #BlackLivesMatter activists; adjunct professors; and home care, Walmart, child care and airport services workers

WHAT: Largest-ever mobilization of underpaid workers; biggest campus protests since the anti-apartheid movement

WHEN/ WHERE:  For information on times and locations of strike lines in a particular city, please contact Emma Stieglitz at 646-200-5307 or emmaS@berlinrosen.com    

For national media in New York City, here is the schedule of strikes and actions for New York City on 4/15.    

6:15am— McDonald’s, 395 Flatbush Ave Extension (at Fulton) 

Nationwide protests kick-off in NYC with fast food strikers joining with union and non-union construction workers demanding $15 and union rights    

12 pm—McDonald’s, 2049 Broadway (at 71st and Amsterdam) 

Fast food workers, college students, high school students, retail workers, community supporters participate in die-in outside McDonald’s, drawing the connection between physical and economic security.      

4 pm—57th Street at 7th Avenue 

Thousands join the call for $15 and union rights at construction and fast food worker rally    

5 pm— 64th Street btwn Central Park West & Broadway 

Home healthcare workers in white lab coats, who care for our nation’s elderly and infirm but don’t earn enough to provide for their own families, join the call for $15    

5:30pm—Columbia University’s Low Plaza (115th St. & Broadway) 

College and high school students from across the city gather at Columbia to protest in support of underpaid workers; 6 pm march to uptown McDonald’s   

5:30pm Columbus Circle (West 60th St. & Central Park West) 

15,000 underpaid workers and community supporters converge on Columbus Circle to demand livable wages in largest mobilization of low-wage workers in New York to date; 6 pm march to Times Square to follow.

Background

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 carechild care, airport servicesretail 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 is already 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.

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