The True Spirit of Laor Day Lives!

The True Spirit of Laor Day Lives!

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

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Indianapolis, IN

#1 Sep 1, 2013
Fast food workers in dozens of cities staged a national day of strikes on Thursday, August 29. The action sought to galvanize public support for a living wage of $15 per hour, and respect for fast food workers’ right to organize. Employees from restaurants such as McDonald’s and Burger King called on other retail workers around the country to join them in walking off the job. Many employees, who have had to go on food stamps and public assistance to survive on their industry’s wages, felt they had no choice but to protest their treatment by employers.“My family and I are homeless due to poor pay right now,” Regina Mays, a single mother who works at Little Caesars Pizza in Durham, NC, told reporters in advance of the strike.

Fast Food Strikes, NYC, July 2013

The strike capped an active year of organizing by employees at McDonald’s, WalMart, and other low-wage chains. At a time when traditional unions are on the decline, scrappy organizing campaigns among low-wage workers, sometimes called “alt-labor,” are capturing the national spotlight. While their prospects of winning union recognition through the cumbersome election process prescribed by federal law are slim, the workers have nevertheless demanded improvements in working conditions and are eager to use legal collective action to draw public attention to their concerns.

Much of the coverage of these struggles has been fragmentary, suggesting that the campaigns themselves are disjointed and local. But considered together, the efforts of fast-food workers, carwashers, retail employees, and domestic workers, among others, represent an experimental and creative wave of organizing that has reanimated the labor movement across a wide range of brands and industries.

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