For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Jennifer Owens,, 312-218-8785

Fight for $15 Member on Illinois $15 Minimum Wage

WASHINGTON - Below is a statement from Ieshia Townsend, a McDonald's crew member in Chicago and member of the Fight for $15, on the passage of legislation today raising the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour. Townsend spoke at Governor J.B. Pritzker's signing of the bill today:

"Six years ago, when fast-food workers in Chicago first went on strike for $15 and a union, nobody gave us a chance to win. But today, Illinois is the fifth state in the country to pass a $15/hour minimum wage. What changed? Workers like me stood up, spoke out, and walked off the job. We joined together and acted like a union,convincing politicians that $15 an hour was the bare minimum anyone, anywhere in Illinois needs to get by.

“Fifteen dollars an hour will be life-changing for me. I can barely afford the basic needs for my two sons on my minimum-wage salary. Simple things like whether to buy school supplies for my older boy or formula and diapers for my little one become agonizing choices.

As a single mom and a Black woman on the south side of Chicago, I felt invisible before I joined the Fight for $15 and a union. But by coming together and speaking out, our voices have been heard. And we’re going to keep on fighting until we win our union -- and until everyone in Illinois has the opportunity to join a union, no matter where they work."


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Fast food workers are coming together all over the country to fight for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. We work for corporations that are making tremendous profits, but do not pay employees enough to support our families and to cover basic needs like food, health care, rent and transportation.

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