February 2, 2018

Fast food wage strike planned for Southern states

Common Dreams -Fifty years after the sanitation workers in Memphis marched with Martin Luther King Jr. to demand higher wages and safer labor conditions, Fight for $15 and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber are planning a fast-food workers strike in two dozen cities across the Southern United States to advocate for racial justice and voting rights.

In a statement announcing plans for the protests, which are scheduled for Feb. 12, Fight for $15 compared the plight of the sanitation workers 50 years ago to that of fast-food workers today. "Now, we carry on the same fight," the group declared. "In 1968, 40 percent of Memphis sanitation workers qualified for public assistance; in 2018, 52 percent of fast food workers are on public assistance."

"We're bringing two movements together—people fighting for a living wage, a lot of young people, along with poor people, moral leaders, people of faith," Barber told The Guardian. "We believe we can build a movement that can shift the narrative. Right now, we have an ugly narrative—'Elect me, I'll take away healthcare, I'll hurt the poor, and I'll give tax breaks to the wealthy.'"

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