$15 and a Union

Fast Food Workers On Strike Dec 5, 2013. (Photo Credit: Providence Journal / Freida Squires)

In late August of 2013, RI JWJ received an e-mail from a Wendy’s worker who was fed up with the disrespect and lowly wages she was getting at her store, and inspired by the national wave of fast food workers taking action for fair wages and the right to form a union. She said she had spoken with many of the employees at her store, and there was a lot of interest and energy from people to form a committee and start taking action.

Two months later, in November, workers at the store accompanied by community and union members, religious leaders and politicians began our campaign with a delegation to the store managers. Then, in early December, Warwick and Providence joined workers in more than 100 cities nation-wide in a national one-day strike.

As a result of these brave workers’ actions, and the solidarity from the community, the public conversation on economic inequality has shifted significantly, much like Occupy accomplished in 2011. And now, every Democratic candidate for governor in RI is pushing for a minimum wage of $10/hr. Fast food workers around the country are making history, and we’re proud to stand with them.