ATLANTA – “Fight for 15 and a union” was the call that rang through the hall of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta recently when low-wage workers from all over the South met to exchange stories and plan for a better future beginning with a nationwide fast food strike on April 15.
Here, at the same site that served Martin Luther King, Jr. as a home-base during the tumultuous 60’s, fast food servers, homecare and airport workers and students gave witness to the low pay and cruel conditions facing them in today’s increasingly service-centered economy. Shortly afterwards, nearly 500 of them stopped by a nearby McDonalds for “hot fast food, dining in!”
What began in November, 2012 as a walkout by over 200 fast food workers in New York City has become a national movement with protests in over a hundred cities and has stirred public sentiment into a national dialogue.
Building for a local action (Clark/Atlanta University in downtown Atlanta at 5 p.m.), the assembly took encouragement from veterans of the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike who pledged to continue the momentum galvanized by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his final days.
Also reminiscent of the famous “union flying squads” which travelled across the South during the great textile strike of 1934, caravans of chartered buses will be beating a path to Atlanta for what has all the makings of the largest demonstration there in living memory.
Photo: Labarre Blackman