Media Advisory for: Thursday, September 4, 2014
Fast food: Reginald Zimmerman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 857-399-3918
Home care: Jeff Hall, email@example.com, 617-281-8384
BOSTON FAST FOOD WORKERS TO STRIKE AS FIGHT FOR $15 AND UNION RIGHTS INTENSIFIES
Local McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s Workers Among Those in 150+ Cities Expected To Walk Off Their Jobs
Home Care Workers to Join Growing Movement For Higher Pay
BOSTON – Coming off a convention at which they vowed to do “whatever it takes” to win $15 and the right to form a union, Boston fast-food workers will walk off their jobs Thursday as their movement intensifies and continues to spread.
Workers, from Boston major fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are expected to strike. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines.
Inspired by the actions of fast-food workers, home care workers have decided to join the nationwide movement for higher pay and better rights on the job. In several cities, including Boston, both nonunion and union home care workers will join striking fast-food workers, as the Fight for $15 spreads to a new, fast-growing service industry.
Union and non-union home care workers, along with senior and disability allies, will host a “Speak Out for $15” at the Massachusetts State House steps at 10:00 a.m. before joining the fast-food workers at their 11:45 a.m. action on Washington Street.
WHO: Workers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Dunkin Donuts; Community Supporters; Clergy; other low-wage workers including home care workers
WHAT: Home Care Speak Out for $15 and Fast-Food Worker Strike
WHERE / WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 4 @ 10:00AM
Home Care Speak Out: Massachusetts State House steps (Intersection of Beacon and Park Streets), Boston
Followed by: Thursday, Sept. 4 @ 11:45 AM
Fast Food Strike: Meet at the Irish Famine Memorial, Downtown Boston
Thursday’s strike comes a little more than a month after the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel determined that, despite McDonald’s repeated claims, the company is a joint employer that exerts substantial power over its employees’ working conditions. For nearly two years, McDonald’s and other fast-food workers have been joining together and going on strike, calling for $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation. But time and time again, the company and other industry players have tried to sidestep workers’ calls, inventing a make-believe world in which responsibility for wages and working conditions falls squarely only on the shoulders of franchisees, not the corporations that control how food is served and priced.
As corporations push down real wages for average American workers, a growing number of economists warn that low wages are a barrier to growth that are harming the overall U.S. economy.
A campaign that started in New York City in November 2012, with 200 fast-food workers walking off their jobs demanding $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation, has since spread to more than 150 cities in every region of the country, including the South. The growing fight for $15 has been credited with elevating the debate around inequality in the U.S. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said that it has “entirely changed the politics of the country.” Since the campaign launched, nearly 7 million low-wage workers have seen their wages rise. What seemed like a far-fetched goal–$15 an hour—is now a reality in Seattle, where Bloomberg News said the city adopted “the rallying cry of fast-food workers.”
In Boston, workers and advocates who support the Fight for $15 have united through the #WageAction coalition which helped kick off the citywide Fight for $15 with rallies in June and August that drew low-wage workers from across multiple industries.
As it spreads, the movement is challenging fast-food companies’ outdated notion that their workers are teenagers looking for pocket change. Today’s workers are mothers and fathers struggling to raise children on wages that are too low. And they’re showing the industry that if it doesn’t raise pay, it will continue to be at the center of the national debate on what’s wrong with our economy.
Follow all of the nationwide action on strike day at www.strikefastfood.org and on Twitter with the #StrikeFastFood, #WageAction, and #HomeCare15 hashtags.
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