In a series of demonstrations and strikes taking place Tuesday, November 29, workers in a variety of jobs and industries will continue to press demands for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, along with other benefits. A baggage-handler and cabin-cleaner strike at Chicago’s O’Hare Field, postponed from last week, is scheduled to begin Tuesday.
McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD), a target of the workers group often identified as the Fight for $15, will once again be a focus of demonstrators. According to a press release from BerlinRosen, McDonald’s is also the subject of a hearing Tuesday before the European Parliament to defend itself against charges of mistreating workers in Britain, Belgium and France.
The press release also noted:
In addition to the strikes demanding $15 and union rights, the workers will wage their most disruptive protests yet to show they will not back down in the face of newly-elected politicians and newly-empowered corporate special interests who threaten an extremist agenda to move the country to the right. The protests, at 20 major airports, which serve 2 million passengers a day, and outside McDonald’s restaurants from Durham to Denver, will underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or healthcare, deport immigrants, or support racism or racist policies, will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fight for $15.
The Fight for $15 group claims that its strikes and demonstrations, begun in 2012, have resulted in wage increases for 22 million underpaid workers, including more than 10 million who are now on a path to an hourly wage of $15.
In September, The Washington Post cited economist Lawrence Michel of the Economic Policy Institute who said, “The highest income growth was in the bottom fifth [of workers,] which is very welcome news.”
Jason Furman, chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, credited wage-boosting policy initiatives for some of that increase: “The fact that millions of workers have gotten a raise, as states have raised minimum wages, has definitely had an effect there.”