It’s November and a lot of important stuff is happening during the month. Daylight Savings Time ended. Election Day 2015 just past, and the 2016 Presidential campaigns will be kicking into high gear with just about one year left to go. For many of us, thoughts will turn to Thanksgiving turkey, football. family gatherings, and Christmas shopping, but there is still a lot of labor relations activity that you might want to keep on your radar.
According to a report this morning in USA Today:
Fast-food workers, already a potent political force, are planning their largest nationwide strike yet next week and this time will leverage their crusade for a $15-an-hour wage in a bid to sway the 2016 presidential election.
The group representing the workers, Fight for $15, plans on Tuesday to stage protests at restaurants in 270 cities, the most since it began organizing the demonstrations three years ago.
Striking fast-food and other low-wage workers will then gather at local city halls, kicking off a campaign to prod their colleagues to vote next November for local, state and national candidates who support the $15 pay floor. Labor and other groups will simultaneously rally in about 200 other cities, and the daylong blitz will culminate with a protest by several thousand workers at the Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee.
“We’re putting politicians on notice that we’re going to hold them accountable,” says Kendall Fells, the organizing director of Fight for $15, a group funded by the Service Employees International Union.
In last week’s CUE newsletter, we mentioned the Fight for $15 National Day of Action which will take place next Tuesday November 10th. Early indications are that there will be protests and strike actions aimed at employers in multiple industries including health care, retail, hospitality, airport workers, home/child caregivers and fast food workers in cities across the United States. One business group which monitors these actions tells me that they have identified more than one hundred individual events already, and expect many more than that. Unlike past protests which were aimed primarily at fast food restaurants, many of these events are scheduled to start or end at government buildings and city halls, and could spread to sites in any service sector. CUE members with employees in service sector jobs would be well advised to have a general response plan in place with your on-site management teams, especially in larger urban centers and those states viewed as election battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.