(Note: The United Media Guild represents fast food organizers across the United States.)
Greetings To All,
What a year this has been! This year has been full of organizing, strikes, walkouts, car caravans, and monumental actions in the struggle for workers’ rights. It’s never been more clear that we CANNOT go back to “normal,” because “normal” is essential workers making less than $15/hr. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown everyone what we already knew: essential workers are the ones who keep our economy working and we deserve the dignity of a living wage and workplace protections. Healthcare workers, retail workers, food service workers, and so many more have put their lives on the line to keep us going during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year has cost us so much in terms of human life, it’s important that we don’t forget what we fought for this year.
Here’s our year in review:
Early in 2020, we joined fast-food workers around the country as we went on strike and walked off the job for PPE and paid sick leave. COVID-19 had just started its devastation in the U.S. and Show Me $15 and a Union workers made their voices heard in Memphis and in St. Louis with a monumental wave of car caravans, walkouts, and community actions.
The protests were covered by local media outlets including the St. Louis Business Journal.
On May 21, Show Me $15 and a Union workers in St Louis and Memphis joined in on another day of action to oppose the massive inequality present in the McDonald’s shareholder meeting. While McDonald’s doled out millions to their shareholders, their own workers were suffering just to make ends meet. We couldn’t show up at the McDonald’s headquarters like in previous years, so we found a creative way to make our presence felt!
The Strike for Black Lives
The summer of 2020 was marked by massive protests and organization around the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. In July, Show Me $15 and a Union workers organized around the integral connection between racial equality and economic inequality and joined workers around the world for a day of action on July 20th called the Strike for Black Lives.
Worker’s voices were heard around the globe with major news outlets covering the strikes, including the Associated Press and the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
My Vote is Essential
On top of a global pandemic and massive uprising around race and inequality, 2020 was also an election year. At such a pivotal moment in US history, we weren’t going to sit it out! The Fight for $15 and a Union mobilized workers across the country to get out and vote! We stood up and committed to vote for candidates and legislation that would support workers’ rights! In November, we won across the country. No victory was quite as exciting, however, as winning a path to $15/hr in Florida!
Media outlets around the country like NPR cited workers in the Fight for $15 and a Union as playing a pivotal role in the win.
Federal $15/hr minimum wage
With a new incoming administration, it’s the perfect opportunity to demand $15/hr at the federal minimum wage. After the election had been called, Fight for $15 and a Union workers around the country stood up and demanded that the newly elected Biden/Harris administration show that they’re here to work for us!
Late in 2020, we said “no more” to the grotesque trend of sexual harassment prevelant world wide in the fast-food industry. We stood with fellow fast-food workers internationally, told our stories, and built power around the idea that fast-food companies should have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and misconduct in their stores.
In 2020, we organized and built worker power, but none of that would have been possible without our community at our backs. Thank you for supporting us and showing up for us during this past year. As we look forward to 2021, take the lessons we learned from 2020 and get ready to WIN big in 2021. Be ready to fight, and to stay in the streets.
Show Me $15 and a Union