ST. PAUL, Minn. - "What do we want?" "$15!!" "When do we want it?" "NOW!"
The holiday dedicated to working Americans stood as the backdrop for a crowd in St. Paul in Minnesota early Monday, as they demanded what they call a living wage from one of America's billion-dollar companies.
Fast food workers organizing with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) declared a one-day strike, with a demonstration and rally outside of the McDonald's at 2322 West 7th Street. They were joined by community members and organizations supporting their call for a $15 per hour wage.
"Workers are on strike from fast food stores across the Twin Cities because they're asking to be treated with respect, they're demanding to be paid a fair wage of 15 dollars per hour, and to have all the benefits workers should be able to have to not only get by and survive, but to actually be able to live lives of dignity and joy," explained Veronica Mendez-Moore, co-director of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL). "We know this (a strike) is the only thing that works, and that's why workers are out here taking this risk today."
Mendez-Moore noted the fact that McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook makes millions per year (nearly $8M in 2016, actually), and says the Labor Day action staged in front of the St. Paul McDonald's is part of a coast to coast effort to bring attention to the plight of the fast food worker and the push for a higher wage.