DETROIT – The movement to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers got a boost here Thursday, beginning at 6:00 a.m. at a McDonald’s, followed by a breakfast and rally with several hundred “D-15” workers, as the movement locally is called.
On the heels of Black Friday Walmart demonstrations last week, the Service Employees union and Good Jobs Now had called for today’s events to support fast food workers in the Detroit area. It was part of a nationwide day of protests and strikes by fast food workers.
After welcoming all to the breakfast and thanking people for a “job well done,” Rev. William Rideout said low-wage workers had to take a stand against corporate greed. Mark Schauer, Democratic candidate for Michigan governor, said a raise in minimum wage is long overdue. He noted that since 1968 the purchasing power of the minimum wage has dropped 20% while CEO pay has risen 700 percent in the same period.
Workers “can no longer take what they’re dishing out,” Michigan SEIU President Marge Robinson said. They can’t make it on $7.40 an hour, can’t buy shoes for the kids, put food on the table, or pay the rent, Robinson said. It was time to “hit the picket lines,” she said.
That’s exactly what happened when the several hundred boarded buses, vans and cars to converge on a McDonald’s on the city’s west side. “Hold the pickles, hold the fries, make our wages supersize” was one of the chants. People honked to show support as they drove by.
Photo: D-15 rally in Detroit, Dec. 5, 2013. April Smith/PW