Fast food workers with the Fight for $15 campaign are set to strike on April 15 in 200 U.S. cities, including Chicago, as part of a national day of action for higher wages and union recognition.
They will be joined on the picket lines by a growing number of low-wage workers and allies as the movement for better pay and working conditions continues to expand to industries beyond fast food. Chicago adjunct professors, college students, cab drivers, child care workers and leaders with the "Black Lives Matter" movement are among those who will be protesting with fast food employees on April 15, organizers said during a Tuesday news conference.
The April 15 strikes and protests across Chicago will culminate with a large rally near the University of Illinois at Chicago's student center in the late afternoon, workers said.
April 15 will mark the eighth time Chicago fast food workers have walked off the job since 2012, when the fast food industry was first targeted by striking employees in New York City before the Fight for $15 campaign gained traction across the country. Those with the Fight for $15 movement have been pushing for union recognition and a $15 minimum wage, which is a yearly salary of about $31,000 -- enough to cover workers' basic needs, according to organizers.
"This thing is growing so fast," Chicago McDonald's worker Douglas Hunter said of the Fight for $15. "Two years ago, when this movement started out, all we wanted was $15 an hour and the right to form a union ... The Fight for $15 is grown up now. We're now a social justice movement."