Fast-Food Strikes Spread to Midwest as Anti-Worker Efforts Meet Strong Opposition

In recent months, unprecedented strikes by fast-food workers have taken place in both New York City and Chicago. This week, the action spread even further through the heart of the country, as workers in St. Louis and Detroit staged one-day work stoppages to demand higher wages and the right to organize. At the same time that such strikes are spreading, anti-worker legislative attacks that have already spread through many neighboring states in recent years are being met with strong opposition throughout the region as well. Workers in Missouri and states across the Midwest continued this week to stand up both in the streets and at statehouses to demand fair wages and respect on the job:

Like their counterparts in other cities, the more than 100 workers in St. Louis who went on strike this week were demanding a wage of $15 per hour. [Salon]

“I just feel that if we don’t stand up now, it’s never going to happen... They’re making billions off of us making little to nothing. So they can afford to share a little bit more,” said Tomecka Wilson, a striking worker in St. Louis. [The Nation]

On Friday, as many as 400 workers in 60 fast-food restaurants walked off the job in the Detroit metropolitan area, in the largest such action yet. [MSNBC]

“The growth of this entire thing has been quite organic... People are upset that their wages are low and their working conditions are bad," said Rev. Charles Williams II, president of the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network. [Washington Post]

Michigan became the first state with a "right-to-work" antidues law to see such an action. [Huffington Post]

Missouri's legislature sent a bill to Gov. Jay Nixon that would roll back prevailing wage legislation and lower wages for workers. [AP]

Anti-labor "paycheck protection" bills are also set to be voted on in both houses of Missouri's legislature. [PR Watch]

How the attacks in Missouri are part of a national right-wing effort targeting workers and the middle class. [Huffington Post]


(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Read the full Dispatch from May 11, 2013 here or sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here.)