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Illustration for article titled Strikes at McDonalds

I don't know if you've been following but there have been planned strikes for workers to unionize and demand better pay at McDonald's all over the country today. I know in Chicago at least one strike got press over on the South Side.

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From the WBEZ report:

The South Side protest was smaller than one staged in May outside McDonald's headquarters in suburban Chicago, when more than 130 of the several hundred protesters were arrested. But Thursday's location on a busy street had supporters waving and honking as they drove by.

A total of 19 protesters were taken into custody, cited for blocking traffic and then released, police said later Thursday.

Fast-food workers told of how their pay keeps them below the poverty line and is not nearly enough to support themselves or their families.

Tyree Johnson, 46, said after working at McDonald's for nearly most of his adult life, he makes $8.45 an hour, which he says combined with food stamps is barely enough to survive.

"I have to stay in a cheap hotel to keep my life going," he said of lodging that costs him $78 a week.

"I want to help my mom and my auntie (but) when they ask me for money, I don't have it," Johnson said shortly after his arrest. "I been there for 22 years and I can't help my family."

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And now the Chicago Tribune says that 50 have been arrested.

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In Wisconsin Representative Gwen Moore was arrested in West Milwaukee with protesters.

Illustration for article titled Strikes at McDonalds

When asked what Moore was being charged with, an officer told Anderson that police were just "trying to get them out of the street."

The rally in Wisconsin were part of a day of protests across the nation to push fast food companies to pay employees a living wage of at least $15 an hour.

"I take great pride in supporting Milwaukee workers as they risk arrest in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow for their families," Moore wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon. "I've read their letters, I've heard their calls, and I've listened to their stories. I understand their struggle, but more importantly, I see their drive to fight for a future that is equal to their talents and worthy of their dreams."

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In Philadelphia 100 people marched down Broad and had a sit-in on Broad and Arch. 11 arrested for demanding a higher wage.

In Detroit 30 were cited or arrested at their protest. Flint: 25, others in Lansing.

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Illustration for article titled Strikes at McDonalds

This is from the protest in LA:

And in New York as of right now there is a protest happening in Times Square where there is a reported 'dozen' arrests.

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This is the Twitter feed I've been following. These protests are happening in every major city. McDonald's can provide a living wage for these people and the fact that they don't is a travesty. No one should have to be demeaned because they work full time for a billion-dollar global behemoth that doesn't value the people who directly interact with their customers.

I wish I could give this a better, more thorough treatment that it deserves. This is important. People need a living wage. These workers are being dismissed and ignored by a largely apathetic society who clearly value cheap goods over helping the working poor. It's unacceptable that large companies like McDonalds get a pass because they can bully people out of unionizing and can use a societal bias against the poor to their advantage in exploiting them.

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Feel free to post coverage from your city so this can be a bigger picture. So we can see how protesters have been met by the very people they have probably served.

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