New fast-food walkouts will include Milwaukee

Fast-food workers in seven cities, including Milwaukee, will walk out from their jobs next week, in protest for a higher minimum wage.

The walkouts are scheduled to take place in five cities where workers have previously protested in the spring: Milwaukee, Detroit, New York, Chicago and St. Louis. Those workers will be joined by fast-food employees in Flint, Mich., and Kansas City, Mo., in walkouts next week.
The workers asking for the minimum wage to be raised to $15, the right to form a union without retaliation and the end of unfair labor practices.

Beginning July 29, workers are expected to walk off their jobs at some of the most prominent national fast-food chains, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC. Retail workers at stores such as Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and Dollar Tree are expected to join the strikes in some cities. The walkouts are expected to extend through Thursday.

“When you make minimum wage, you don’t have a heck of a lot to lose by speaking out,” said Kareem Starks, a McDonald’s worker in Brooklyn. “But remaining silent is not an option because it’s nearly impossible to survive on $7.25 an hour.”

The campaigns are being run on the ground by local labor-community-clergy alliances led by groups such as New York Communities for Change, Jobs with Justice, Action Now, 99 Pastors and Wisconsin Jobs Now, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and Raise up Milwaukee. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is providing financial and technical support to the campaigns and is lending staff to help train organizers on the ground in each of the cities.

“SEIU members, like all service-sector workers, are worse off when large fast food and retail companies are able to hold down wages and push down benefit standards for working people,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of SEIU. “That’s why SEIU members are proud to give support to fast food and retail workers who are fighting for higher wages that will boost the economy for all of us.”

Several national labor groups across the country are supporting the campaign.






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