Fast Food Strike Expands to East St. Louis

Categories: Restaurant News

fastfoodstrike.jpg
       We're guessing these guys won't be there. | Pop Culture Geek

Fast food workers walked off their jobs July 29 to protest low wages and the inability to unionize. This morning, the strike is extending to East St. Louis, West County and continuing downtown later this afternoon.

See also:
- St. Louis Fast Food Workers Walk Off the Job (Again)
- St. Louis Fast-Food Workers Protest for Better Pay, Right to Organize
- Minimum Wage: U.S. Secretary Of Labor Seth Harris Is Meeting With St. Louis Workers

Workers from McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Jack in the Box, Hardee's and several other restaurants are meeting at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning at McDonald's (588 North 24th Street, East St. Louis; 618-482-6610). Then it's on to Arch Coal (12312 Olive Boulevard) at 9:30 a.m. -- members of the United Mine Workers of America are joining the strike -- and Wendy's (14799 Manchester Road, Ballwin; 636-686-3741) at 11:30 a.m. There will also be a rally and march at 4:30 p.m. at Kiener Plaza (7th and Market Streets).

Yesterday Reverend Martin Rafanan of STL735, which is organizing workers in the city, told us that raising the minimum wage is just the beginning. The group is aiming for a $15-an-hour wage as well as the expansion of Medicaid and the ability to organize without fear of repercussions.

We'll update this story as it develops.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.





Location Info

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Kiener Plaza

Seventh & Market streets, St. Louis, MO

Category: General


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82 comments
galen.vinson
galen.vinson

Two problems, one is a person should earn enough that they can afford to feed their family and keep a roof over their head if they are working full time.  Two, the government has been causing the cost of living to skyrocket as they have continued to print lots and lots of paper which no longer has the value printed on it..  We used to live on a lot less than the average worker gets today.  Gasoline, heating oil, energy, housing, food was relatively cheap.  Property taxes were low enough that the average worker could afford to pay them.  The government has become a monstor devouring everything and everybody.  Corporations have taken over the government (buying the politicians and judges).  The big giants have become immensely rich while the little guy is becoming immensely poor.  St. Louis was never union friendly.   This gap will only become larger and someday result that the people will revolt.  The government has already built large concentration camps all over the united states, and coupled with the "national military authorization act" one asks why.    I am sure that the government with their Patriot act have taken any contitutional rights we have away.  Its sad that the american public is so blind to what has happened.  But the national media  is controlled as well by the government and corporations so its no wonder.  Keep the americans stupid.  Main thing they have their beer (full of formalyd) and football games.  Bread and circus' like in old rome...

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

it doesn't matter like how many months he spent learning his trade. he doesn't have a job, and these morons aren't happy they HAVE a job.

Sharon Parker
Sharon Parker

Babs, just curious...do you know SOME of these folks picketing? How do you KNOW they are underachievers with a sense of entitlement and zero desire to do better? Way to stereotype! I don't know any of the picketers, but I'm willing to bet that the majority have a LOT of desire to do better. I mean, who in their right mind is HAPPY working at a dead-end, low-skill job for crappy wages that won't even adequately cover MODEST living expenses? One of the guys on the news said he's trying to finish a pharmacy tech program (poor kid doesn't realize he'll probably still be making way below $15/hr!) Isn't there some kind of biblical saying, "Judge ye not, lest ye be judged?" Perhaps what we REALLy all need to do is have a little compassion for our fellow human beings, and stop hating on people who are CLEARLY doing the right thing by holding down a job and trying to be self-supporting. The ones with the true sense of entitlement are those smugly blaming the poor for daring to WANT a better life--EVEN when they're willing to work for it.

Brian McDowell
Brian McDowell

Jeff; if only people would vote for politicians that would end such practices.

Ryan Sherman
Ryan Sherman

Your worried about prices of bad food. Oh lord.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

People at Walmart work for such low wages they get welfare. We taxpayers subsidize these low paying companies to help them stay in business and rake in billions in profit. It's called corporate welfare- look it up if you know how.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

Actually Dennis the estimate a Big Mac will cost .69 cents more. That's if they don't take anything from the profit of the corporate aholes.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

Or they can ask for more, it's actually the American way.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

The extra pay can be taken from the billions McD's rakes in every year.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

Did a union man blow the roofer's leg off? And the roofer spends like a couple of months learning his trade, it's not rocket science.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

1. I am not the corporation raking in the billions so why would I be handing them money and what good would a dollar do anyway? 2. Workers are capitalists too. If the pay goes up the better workers will be getting the jobs, natural balance restored. 3. They might want to , or the restaurants might want to rethink theirs. In your fantasy world the businesses have double the workers sitting around with nothing to do. We'll see who wins this one.

Dennis Gilbert
Dennis Gilbert

most post are from reasonable people that understand work, business, and society, those without a clue side with the strikers and want something for nothing or in this case a lot of pay for very little

Dennis Gilbert
Dennis Gilbert

are you stupid? you have no ides what you are talking about. this will just mean big macs will cost twice as much

Dennis Gilbert
Dennis Gilbert

we do not need a higher min wage we need more ambitious people

Ashley Montes
Ashley Montes

Exactly Angelo. These people are too dumb to get that.

Ryan Sherman
Ryan Sherman

everyone needs at least 15 an hour to function properly in today's society. imagine what the good jobs will pay then. sounds good to me.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

jeff...if all these people can take a day off work...and that restaurant can still stay in business and serve customers...then...they might want to re-think that "strike" strategy.

mdshay
mdshay

I ’m quite “liberal” when it comes to some social issues. However, I am “conservative” on fiscal issues.

$15 an hour for fast food? I don’t think so. I’ve worked fast food. It can be stressful. It’s often not pretty, and the benefits are slim.

I’ll gladly support an increase in their salary if it includes an increase in mine. Fair is fair, right?
After all, I’m having difficulties on what I make, too.

They are calling this a ‘strike’. It looks an awful lot like a voluntary walk-off. If you don’t want to work for a given wage, don’t work. Meanwhile, enjoy your non-paid status while you exercise your free speech and non-working status.

I am also so very glad that some wore signs that read “I am a man” or “I am a woman”. I will sleep better at night knowing your gender.

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

Not the point Jeff. The pay is what the market will bear. It's simply not worth that kind of money when there are plenty of teens willing and able to work for that pittance.

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

It's a bit hard to keep a business open when your patrons rob you every chance they get.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

you could drive over there and give every striking worker a dollar, right?

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

they don't have to pay their employees more than they do. why? because the free market has decided that people want low cost food more than they want well paid employees.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

how many years did the roofer spend learning his craft?

Chad Kitchen
Chad Kitchen

Stay on strike. We don't need that shitty food anyway!

Angelo Lazaro
Angelo Lazaro

These jobs are level entry positions to the work place. Part-time employees they all so have a high rate of turn over. This is a grab by the unions to just get the fee for becoming a member.

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

Ted Drewes is a prime example of great work ethic. The employees bust their butts, provide great service... the owner makes lots of money and in return pays them decently AND in some cases pays them to further their education with money for school.

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

Everyone should be able to make a reasonable wage, but let's face it.... you have to work your way up and the pay scale should reflect your expertise and value as an employee. Flipping burgers is a start up job. These people are delusional if they think their work is worth $15 per. Not gonna happen. If they want more money then they need to work on their work ethic and start MOVING... Fast food is far from fast in most cases... and it doesn't require much thought or talent. Move faster, give better service... the owner makes more money and in theory has more money to spread around. Give people the stink eye and give them cold food and guess what... business drops and the kitty isn't as full to dole out any extra money. Basic business.

Keyla Baird
Keyla Baird

As far as skilled trade workers not making 15 an hour.. my dad is an Ironworker. He makes well over $20 an hour. Oh wait... he is Union.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

McD's is raking in billions of dollars a year profits, they can afford to pay those who do the actual work better pay and benefits.

Ben Festervand
Ben Festervand

Lol, now if people working skilled full-time jobs and have college degrees can just make $15 an hour...

Babs VanHoose-Dunaway
Babs VanHoose-Dunaway

Noone said they do not deserve a better wage, I agree Minimum wage should go up. I also agree that there are some people who are super hard workers and unfortunately, their chosen career paths do not pay a lot of money (look at school teachers and social worker's - they do so much good and have such an impact on our children and society and yet the are at the bottom of the earnings ladder). My husband was laid off for three years and we couldn't afford for him to take a minimum wage job as we had two young children requiring daycare and the math did not make sense. However, SOME of these folks picketing are under achievers with a sense of entitlement and zero desire to "do better". That is what we all need to do...do better.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

McD's is raking in billions of dollars a year profits, they can afford to pay those who do the actual work better pay and benefits.

Angelo Lazaro
Angelo Lazaro

The unions are behind this, they are losing membership in all areas. Wisconsin teachers union has seen a dramatic drop in membership.

Trent Bronson
Trent Bronson

Gotta love this entitled generation. "I was born therefor I shall be given everything but give nothing"

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

Btw if min. wage kept up with the rise in productivity since the 1960's, it would be at $22/hr. But I guess the children of those working full time don't deserve the healthcare cause "skill sets" or "not working hard enough".

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

Why can't we just say that we need all pay to shift towards the middle. Why scream about the minimum wage when we could be screaming about those ultra rich at the top? That's the real problem here. Executive and shareholder pay has increased at a rate 120 times that of the average worker in the last 30 years. You don't think they're manipulating this discussion? They did this in the 1920's people.

Delana M. O'Nan-Cooper
Delana M. O'Nan-Cooper

should be nationwide, not only for higher wages,but better quality of food. I haven't eaten in this type of establishments in over 3yrs. but many are not wise to the non- edible substances in this type foods, and what it is doing to their bodies and brains.

Terri Belangee
Terri Belangee

Go ahead & get more money. But think about this if you do then they will hire more people & you'll get less hours. You will also pay more in taxes.

Wil Grundon
Wil Grundon

Good for them! They should be paid commensurate with the amount of wealth they generate for their companies. Let's see the franchise owners or the executes get in those hot-ass kitchens and make food for a thousand people a day...

Wil Grundon
Wil Grundon

"Work hard and advance up the ladder." -- spoken like a true cog in the machine.

mdshay
mdshay

@Wil Grundon Bottom line is, they don't have to.  If you want to be a franchise owner or exec, then go be one.  If you decide to work in the kitchen be prepared for kitchen wages.

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