St. Louis fast-food workers are walking off the job Monday, July 29, in a 24-hour strike to protest low wages. Headed by STL735 ("Can't survive on $7.35"), around 100 workers from McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, White Castle, Jimmy John's, Papa Johns, Arby's and more are expected to strike this afternoon. Fast food workers are protesting at McDonald's on South Grand (3737 South Grand Boulevard; 314-772-3890) and on West Florissant (10873 West Florissant Avenue; 314-521-2272).
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Congressman Lacy Clay, whose district represents much of St. Louis city and county, is also supporting the strike lines. Workers are also striking in Kansas City, Chicago, Milawaukee, Detroit and New York. STL735 community director Martin Rafanan says legislation has been introduced to raise the minimum wage, but that isn't enough. "It doesn't meet the needs of workers, but it's a step in the right direction. We're also fighting for Medicaid expansion and a number of other things that will help low-wage workers dramatically," he says. "They need a wage that covers the basic necessities of life, and by the way, minimum wage doesn't do that."
Workers are also fighting for the right to unionize without fear of retaliation. Rafanan says this is just the beginning of fast-food workers organizing themselves and making sure they have a clear and focused approach to their demands.
Protest locations for tomorrow will be announced later this afternoon -- check back for updates on this developing story.