Labor Day Strikers Demand $15/Hr for Fast Food Workers

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ST. PAUL, Minn. – Roughly 200 fast food workers went out on strike Monday and took to the streets of St. Paul to demand a raise to a $15 per hour minimum wage.

The Pioneer Press reports that the rally itself took place outside of a McDonald’s franchise on Seventh Street West close to Madison Street. Workers from fast food joints all over the Twin Cities flocked to the location, prompting organizers to call the event a huge success.

In fact the walkout was so successful that one McDonald’s location in Minneapolis was left without the necessary number of workers, prompting it to close up for several hours. It reopened sometime after 4 p.m. the same day, reports the Pioneer Press.

Local politicians also made their presence known at the rally. Two candidates for mayor of St. Paul were in attendance, with Elizabeth Dickinson and City Council Member Dai Thao showing up. They were joined by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison who has been a vocal proponent of legislation for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

“The CEO of McDonald’s is making $9,000 an hour and can probably afford to get by on $6,000 an hour,” Ellison said in a prepared statement according to the Pioneer Press. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that they claim they can’t afford to pay workers $15 minimum wage and I’m proud to stand with workers this Labor Day as they fight to reclaim what the true meaning of Labor Day really means, and that is to uplift workers.”

Minneapolis’ city council overwhelmingly passed an ordinance to phase in a $15 an hour minimum wage over the course of a few years. Larger corporations will have a shorter amount of time to phase in the wage increase compared with small businesses, which will have until 2024 to hit the $15 mark. That ordinance passed by a vote of 11-1, as Alpha News reported previously.

Anders Koskinen