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Rashida Tlaib, Abdul El-Saed Among Demonstrators Arrested at Detroit Fight for $15 Strike

Approximately 1,000 restaurant and service workers rallied on Woodward Avenue to call for union rights

Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Rashida Tlaib, a candidate U.S. representative, and former gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Saed were among 18 demonstrators arrested on Tuesday during a restaurant and service worker Fight for $15 strike in Detroit, WXYZ reports.

Approximately 1,000 people including fast-workers, union, and non-union workers gathered in front of a McDonald’s at 4235 Woodward Ave. in Midtown today to demand union rights from local employers, according to a release by organizers. Workers were calling for higher minimum wages..

During the demonstrations, participants shut down Detroit’s main thoroughfare Woodward Avenue and set up a table. Police then stepped in and order people out of the streets, according to the Detroit Free Press. Some participants including El-Sayed and Tlaib continued to sit at the table in the street. They were among 18 people who were eventually taken into custody by police (Fight for $15 stated in a release that 20 people were arrested). They’re expected to be released with misdemeanor tickets for disorderly conduct.

A separate coordinated strike took place in Flint this morning, which was attended by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. That event was interrupted this morning when a truck careened into the crowd, hitting at least six people. The victims injuries were non-life threatening and the crash did not appear to be intentional, according to police.

The strikes come ahead of planned fast-food worker walkouts in key battleground states on Wednesday, October 3 and Thursday, October 4.

Fight for $15 has been organizing for more than four years for a $15 hourly wage. Meanwhile, all minimum wage employees may see the minimum wage rise to $12 per hour in Michigan if the legislature doesn’t gut the proposal in a lame-duck session.

Rashida Tlaib, Abdul El-Sayed Arrested During ‘Fight for $15’ Rally in Detroit [WXYZ]
‘Fight for $15’ Workers Rally to Unionize, Shut Down Woodward [Freep]
All Labor Coverage [E]