Fastfood workers strike demanding $15 an hour and union rights

"They want to send a message to both the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to prioritize passing $15 an hour (legislation) in the first 100 days."

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On Friday, fast food workers nationwide went on strike. It was a demonstration to demand higher wages and the right to unionize ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Pressuring Biden to deliver on his campaign promise, workers in several U.S. cities including Chicago, Charleston, Detroit, Durham, Flint, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Memphis, Oakland, Orlando, Sacramento, St. Louis, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa, fastfood workers at McDonald’s Wendy’s and other chains walked off the job on what would have been Martin Luther King’s 92 birthday, according to USA Today. Striking workers are demanding the new administration prioritizes #RaiseTheWage to $15 in the first 100 days in office.

“They want to send a message to both the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to prioritize passing $15 an hour (legislation) in the first 100 days,” Allynn Umel, organizing director of the movement, which is backed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said.

The strike came just after Biden announced $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief and recovery plan that includes raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

As Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, explained “if the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would be close to $12 an hour today, more than 65 percent higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.”

“Raising the minimum wage is one of the best economic stimulus policies out there, and it’s encouraging to see the incoming Biden administration prioritize it in their stimulus package,” Morris Pearl, chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director of BlackRock, said.

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