On October 4th, SEIU local 73 members joined fast food workers across Chicago and Wisconsin for an SEIU National Day of Action to demand a $15 minimum wage and a union. The day’s events included a rally at Union Park and a march to McDonald’s Hamburger University where workers and community members sat-in and took arrests. Fast food workers were joined by clergy, elected officials, and union activists including the Reverend William Barber, Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and SEIU International president, Mary Kay Henry. Throughout the city, working people joined together to make sure that Chicago is a city that works for all, not just a wealthy few. Hospital, fast food, airport, higher education, and public sector workers united to send a clear message: We’re showing up at the polls this November and doing whatever it takes to win!
The day’s actions’ featured Local 73’s very own Shantel Boston, a part-time traffic control aid with the City of Chicago. She spoke to the crowd about the first hand benefits she’s seen to being in a union and why she believes all workers should have a right to be union,
“The union is the reason I have stable pay and can fight for more in my union contract. The union is the reason why I can take time off to be with my daughter. Without a union, many fast food workers struggle to pay bills and spend more time with their families. I stand here in support of all workers seeking to form a union especially fast food workers.”
Loyola graduate workers were among the dozens of arrests made including John Hawkins, Ella Wagner, and Ruby Oram. Loyola graduate workers said,
“For too long, politicians – backed by big corporations – have whittled away at our right to join with our coworkers and make our jobs better. As graduate workers at Loyola University Chicago, we’ve watched as powerful forces tried to limit our power by claiming we weren’t workers, by allowing workers to opt out of contributing their fair share, by saying religiously-affiliated employers are exempt from following labor laws and more.
This has to stop. We know that without pooling our power and resources, those of us who work for a living will never be able to get a fair shake.
We’re taking to the streets to say ‘enough is enough.’ We demand that politicians stand with us for our unions and real change.”
The fight is far from over but we aren’t going anywhere. If we don’t get 15 and a union, we will vote them out and shut it down!
Join us on October 20th for a Get Out the Vote Rally to encourage voters to make a change at the ballot box. Sign up here.