We have something to celebrate this Labor Day. Fast food and retail workers are taking to the streets again today to demand a living wage and the right to unionize. I’m admittedly a little giddy as I scroll through the Twitter updates of workers walking out in cities across the US.
Things started heating up last summer following the heroic efforts of C.J.’s Seafood workers in June. Actions by Walmart warehouse and retail workers followed, and then New York City fast food workers walked out in late 2012, paving the way for an upsurge this spring and summer. And the actions keep spreading. Big cities like New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle are leading the march, while workers in new places like Denver, Boston, New Orleans and Atlanta are joining the fight today.
There is serious energy and dynamism behind this movement, and business is starting to freak out. The Employment Policies Institute put out another full-page, scare ad today – this time in the Wall Street Journal:
I wrote a piece about the movement. It’s coming out next week in Dollars and Sense.
As they’re saying in Detroit: Hold the burgers! Hold the fries! Make our wages supersize!