Detroit minimum wage and fast food workers went on strike Wednesday evening calling for wage increases as part of a national movement in 190 cities across the U.S.
Detroit 15, part of the Fight for 15 campaigns, is calling for a $15 hourly wage and the right to form an official union. The minimum wage in Michigan is currently $8.15 per hour.
Strikers assembled in the early hours of the morning today at McDonald's locations in Highland Park and Oak Park. Workers from Flint, Pontiac, Redford, and Lincoln Park, and elsewhere are also involved.
According to strikefastfood.org, workers from Speedway gas station on Jefferson Avenue joined protesters yesterday evening, shutting down the convenience store and pumps.
Darci McConnell, a representative for the Michigan Workers Organizers Committee in Detroit tells The Detroit Free Press: "Workers will walk off their jobs for one shift "and then they'll do a walk-back the next day" to show they're available to work again—although some likely will be fired.
In September, the National Council of Chain Restaurants released a statement regarding wage increases. "The activities being coordinated, financed and facilitated by labor unions—desperate for new membership dues—accomplish absolutely nothing," says executive director Rob Green. "While it is common for labor unions to stage events in order to grab media attention, encouraging activities that put both restaurant workers and their customers in danger of physical harm is not only irresponsible, it's disturbing. Unions are calling it ‘civil disobedience' when in reality, this choreographed activity is trespassing and it's illegal.
At the time of publication, The Michigan Restaurant Association could not be reached for comment.