Marching in Chicago’s far West Side for $15 an hour and a union

On Saturday March 21, several hundred people shut down a McDonalds at Laramie and North Ave on Chicago’s Far West Side and then marched on and through a Food 4 Less store located further east. It was a major Fight for $15 action. Fight for $15 is the national movement of low wage workers whom are working for a minimum wage of $15 an hour and  union recognition. Chicago’s far West Side is a predominantly African American and Latino working class area and the numerous horn honks demonstrated the popularity of the action as far as local residents were concerned.

Fight for $15 Rally at a Chicago McDonalds.

The Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago which heads up the Fight for $15 movement in Chicago was joined by members of Action Now, Our Walmart, UFCW Local 881 and a large group from an AFL-CIO youth conference who arrived in rented buses. We shut down the McDonalds by flooding the area in front of the store. There is a BP gas station facility attached and that was shut down as well. Having two  evil corporations  in one place made for a great Saturday morning.

Fight for $15 at a McDonalds-BP facility

The  group then marched east on North Ave to a huge shopping center where a Food 4 Less grocery is located. Food 4 Less is a chain owned by the Kroger Company who owns several stores in the Chicago area. UFCW Local 881 is currently organizing workers at the chain.

Fight for $15 in Chicago

Eventually people flooded the area in front of the store and then marched into and through the store led by young people holding a Fight for $15 banner. The manager called the cops and we exited through the checkout lines. UFCW Local 881 is trying organize  workers in Food 4 Less. That chain is organized by UFCW on the West Coast and signed  contract in late 2014 with the union.

Fight for $15 leads a protest through Food 4 Less o

Tara Stamps, a teacher and the Chicago Teachers union-backed candidate for alderwoman of the 37th Ward  gave a great speech and helped lead the march into the Food 4 Less store. Selene Martinez of WOCC also gave an impassioned speech and directed the march once we were inside the Food 4 Less store.

Chicago teacher Tara Stamps at a Fight for $15 protest

Fast food worker Selene Martinez of WOCC

The Fight fo $15 movement is organizing  for a huge action on April 15. Hopefully the April 15 action planned by WOCC as part of the Fight for $15 movement will be larger and even more militant. Stay tuned.

Ready for the April 15 mobilization for $15 and a union

Photos from Saturday’s Chicago action are at the link below along with ones from the the International Working Women’s Day Fight for $15  action on March 8. All are available free for non-commercial use.


1 comment

  1. avatar
    Joe Emersberger March 23, 2015 11:31 pm 

    Great to see this

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