In honor of International Workers Day, suburban fast-food workers rallied on May 1 at Fountain Square, where they officially announced their involvement in the Fight for 15 and the importance of $15 an hour wage, union rights and respect in their workplace. Clergy, community allies and State Senator Daniel Biss joined the rally and program to speak out.
“The treatment I experience at work is inhumane. I’ve been working at McDonald’s for more than 20 years and I deserve to be treated and paid fairly,” said Carlota Gomez, who lives in Evanston and works at the McDonald’s near her house. “This job is what I need to take care of my family. I just need McDonald’s to do what’s right. That’s why I’m demanding $15 and nothing less.” Her store co-workers and fast food workers from Chicago and surrounding suburbs chanted “Si se puede” (“Yes we can,” the motto of the United Farm Workers) and held signs that read ‘$8.25 is not enough!…$10 is not enough! $15 in Chicago and the suburbs!’
The program’s agenda also included poetry from Evanston Township High School staff, and a march in the streets to the local Burger King, where Northwestern University students and cafeteria workers spoke out.
The fast food workers then led the march to Ms. Gomez’s McDonald’s restaurant and delivered a letter to management demanding fair treatment and an end to worker abuse. Their May Day rallies concluded with a solidarity action with the North Suburbs Teachers Union, Local 1274 IFT/AFT—AFL-CIO, where workers spoke out about the Fight for 15’s next steps.