How Union Solidarity Raises Minimum Wage for America

Categories: Pay, Labor

McDonald’s is the latest corporation to raise its minimum wage following a series of protests by workers backed by labor unions.

Our Walmart and Fight for $15 campaigns, both backed by unions, have empowered fast food and retail workers to demand wage increases and overcome the fear of retaliation. Over the years, the campaigns have used protests, strikes (especially on Black Friday), and media campaigns to draw attention and put pressure on corporate America, forcing Wal-Mart, Target, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s to raise wages for workers.

AFGE is proud to be part of these campaigns in various cities, most recently in Chicago. These workers’ fights are our fights as when low-wage workers’ pay goes up, federal pay goes up because of local wage assessments. When workers’ wages go up, they spend, creating more jobs and tax revenues for the federal government.

Companies are also starting to change their tone on working conditions. McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook recently said: “I really want to assert McDonald’s as a modern and progressive burger company. And to do that, you’ve really got to make meaningful changes for the business, whether through the food [or] through the employment proposition.”

Even though it’s a step in the right direction, McDonald’s wage increase of $1 dollar over local minimum wage rates doesn’t go far enough as it benefits only workers at restaurants directly owned by McDonald’s – about 90,000 workers. More than 700,000 others do the same jobs in the company’s franchised operations.

That’s why labor unions, fast food workers and low-wage workers are still going ahead with the biggest Fight for $15 protests and strikes nationwide on April 15.

America deserves a raise and we need you to be a part of it.

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