It has been a big week for the battle to secure a living wage for all, as the Fight for $15 campaign sets its sights on McDonald’s. The fast food behemoth pays its U.S. workers so little that in 2013, the National Employment Law Project found that crew members rely on public assistance programs to survive to the tune of $1.2 billion annually.
Yesterday (May 23), Fight for $15 organized members of more than a dozen groups for a March on McDonald’s in Chicago. Participants included organizers with the Movement for Black Lives, Color of Change and the Women’s March. They gathered outside Trump Tower, then marched to flagship location Rock N Roll McDonald’s carrying a banner that read, “McDonald’s: The Trump of Corporations.” The protest continued this morning (May 24), outside the company’s Oak Brook, Illinois, headquarters where shareholders gathered for their annual meeting.
“This year, shareholders may want to hear what McDonald’s is doing to regain the 500 million customers it has lost since 2012,” Darius Cephas, a McDonald’s worker from Boston who is paid $12 an hour said in an emailed press release. “The company should start by paying workers $15 and respecting our right to a union. Our customers believe workers should be paid decently and treated fairly and if McDonald’s wants to win them back, it should pay us enough so we can support our families without relying on public assistance.”
McDonald’s employees in 13 cities—including Atlanta, Houston and Los Angeles—also staged protests this week.