The Fight for $15 movement has arrived at McDonald’s doorstep.
On Thursday, May 26, 2016, some 10,000 fast food, home care, and child care workers marched to McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Young and old, men and women, and people of all colors protested McDonald’s low wages, demanding $15 an hour and the right to unionize without corporate retaliation.
The protest, funded by SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, comes right before McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting. Corporate employees were told to work from home Wednesday and Thursday.
On Wednesday night, over 100 protesters camped out near the headquarters. Protesters came from all over the nation, such as Atlanta and Kansas City.
McDonald’s said, in response to the protests, that it “takes seriously our role in helping strengthen communities” and gives work to “hundreds of thousands of people, providing many with their first job.” Fight for $15 proponents are angry that 88% of minimum wage earners are over 20, 52% have to rely on welfare because they make so little, and CEO to average worker pay is 644 to 1, one of the highest of any corporation in the country.
Generally, corporations and conservatives insist raising the minimum wage causes unemployment and higher prices, while workers and liberals point to economic research that contradicts this.
“We are just trying to survive,” one protester said. “We are all living in poverty regardless of what area we live in and McDonald’s just made $1 billion in profit the first three months of this year.”
The Fight for $15 has already raised the minimum wage in Seattle, California, and New York.