Hundreds of fast food workers, Uber drivers, cashiers and those who work in the airport and home health care industries took to the streets across the country in a wave of civil disobedience in #Fightfor15 demonstrations on Tuesday to bring awareness to labor demands for a $15 minimum wage.
Police handcuffed those who blocked streets outside McDonald’s restaurants from New York to Chicago, to Denver in protest of what they say are unfair wages.
In Detroit, dozens of fast-food and home health care workers wore shirts that read, “My Future is My Freedom” as they linked arms and sat down in the street.
In Manhattan, dozens of fast-food workers placed a banner reading, “We Won’t Back Down” on the street in front of a McDonald’s on Broadway and sat down in a circle as they blocked traffic until they were hauled away by police.
Scores of workers in Chicago sat in the street next to a McDonald’s as supporters unrolled a giant banner from a grocery store next door that read, “We Demand $15 and Union Rights, Stop Deportations, Stop Killing Black People.”
“To too many of us who work hard, but can’t support our families, America doesn’t feel fair anymore,” said Oliwia Pac, who is on strike Tuesday from her job as a wheelchair attendant at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. “If we really want to make America great again, our airports are a good place to start. These jobs used to be good ones that supported a family, but now they’re closer to what you’d find at McDonald’s.”
The wave of strikes, protests and civil disobedience follows an election fueled by workers’ frustrations with an unfair economy—one they say is part of a “rigged economy” that benefits the wealthy.
“We won’t back down until we win an economy that works for all Americans, not just the wealthy few at the top,” said Naquasia LeGrand, a McDonald’s worker from Albemarle, NC. “Working moms like me are struggling all across the country and until politicians and corporations hear our voices, our Fight for $15 is going to keep on getting bigger, bolder and ever more relentless.”