'Can't Survive on $7.25': On Labor Day, Nationwide Calls for $15 Minimum Wage
"Rampant racism. Wage cuts. Attacks on unions. It's time to fight back."
Marches are taking place in hundreds of cities throughout the United States on Monday to celebrate the achievements of organized labor, call attention to President Donald Trump's war on workers, and demand a living wage and a union.
"Rampant racism. Wage cuts. Attacks on unions. It's time to fight back," declared Fight for $15 ahead of Labor Day.
Workers in America's major cities are doing just that.
Fast-food workers in Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Chicago are walking off the job to call attention to the industry's starvation wages. Hoisting signs that read "Can't Survive on $7.25" and chanting "This is what democracy looks like," thousands took to the streets early Monday morning to demand economic justice.
"We're up before the sun to say, we're not going to take it any more," said the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, which rallied workers outside of a local Burger King.
Pointing to the Missouri GOP's success in capping the statewide minimum wage at $7.70—which had the effect of overturning wage increases in St. Louis and Kansas City—Bettie Douglas, a mother of two who has worked at McDonald's for a decade, wrote Monday: "What corporations and politicians are doing to me and other working people in St. Louis is obscene. But we refuse to take it lying down."
"Instead, we are taking to the streets—and we will be louder than ever," Douglas continued. "Today—Labor Day—you'll be able to see us out on the strike lines in St. Louis and hundreds of cities across the country demanding $15 an hour and union rights."
Antwan Williams, a McDonald's worker and Fight for $15 organizer, wrote in an email to supporters that the national Fight for $15 is teaming up with unions throughout the country and placing its energy, resources, and power into defeating politicians who use "their power to help corporations and billionaires at the expense of the rest of us."
"Thousands of people are rallying today to kick off this fight," Williams concluded. "We can stop them."
Here is a glimpse at some of the rallies and marches currently ongoing across the U.S.
"McDonald's, you're no good, pay your workers like you should!"
— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) September 4, 2017
— Fight for 15 Florida (@FightFor15FL) September 4, 2017
Des Moines, Iowa
— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) September 4, 2017
— Roxie Bustamante (@Roxie8News) September 4, 2017
— Maria Montano (@mmontano81) September 4, 2017
St. Louis, Missouri
— Craig England (@craig_engl) September 4, 2017
— 32BJ SEIU (@32BJSEIU) September 4, 2017