Thousands of union workers left their jobs on Monday in an effort to support initiatives to dismantle racism in a protest that was dubbed the Strike for Black Lives.
The protest was organized by union groups including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the American Federation of Teachers, United Farm Workers, and the Fight for $15 and a Union, alongside social justice groups including the Movement for Black Lives, U.S. Youth Climate Strike Coalition, and the Center for Popular Democracy.
The protest took place in over 25 major cities across the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Seattle, and Milwaukee.
Workers are targeting fast food companies like McDonald’s (MCD) to highlight the overrepresentation of minorities working in low-wage and front-line jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Companies like McDonald’s cannot on the one hand tweet that ‘Black Lives Matter’ and on the other pay us poverty wages and fail to provide sick days and adequate PPE,” Angely Rodriguez Lambert, a McDonald’s worker in Oakland, Calif., and leader in the Fight for $15 and a Union, said in a statement.
“We’re going on strike because McDonald’s and other fast-food companies have failed to protect us in a pandemic that has ravaged Black and brown communities across the country,” she said.