Area fast food workers rally for higher wages, union rights

Demand franchisees to provide "Bucks-style" employment standards

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Milwaukee area fast food workers held a rally Thursday at McDonald’s on 9th Street and North Ave.

A $15 wage floor, hiring hall, and union rights were among the demands voiced by local fast food workers and organizers today during a rally held outside the McDonald’s restaurant at 920 W. North Ave. in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood.

Local fast food workers were joined at the rally by the Milwaukee Area Service & Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH) to target area fast food franchisees, calling on them to provide workers with “Bucks-style” employment standards.

The Bucks in partnership with the Alliance for Good Jobs earlier this year launched MASH to ensures fair wages and union rights for service and hospitality workers at the new Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee.

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“Fast food workers do the same type of work that those are doing at the new Bucks arena, but they are making four or five dollars (an hour) less,” said Marcelia Nicholson, Milwaukee County Board supervisor and vice president of MASH. “In an industry that employs more women and people of color, it’s important that Milwaukee franchises understand the importance of our workers, do what’s right and set a new standard.”

Workers who participated in the rally are part of part the Fight for $15, a national movement pushing for $15 wages and union power for fast food industry workers throughout the country.

Concession workers at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport in recent months have also used the Bucks’ fair wage initiatives to demand the same wage floor.

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“I know the Bucks have already set a standard for what workers should get on the job, and I think people will follow suit,” Nicholson said.

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