St. Louis fast food workers were on the streets today for a second round of protests to raise wages and form a union.
Supporters carried signs and chanted both in and outside of McDonald’s on South Broadway and encouraged employees to walk out and join them in the strike. Reverend Martin Rafanan says that fast food workers and participants are more prepared on this second go around.
“Without representation we don’t reach a minimum wage," Rafanan said. "These workers have educated themselves - They just have a much more powerful presence organizing ability and presentation which is exactly what is needed to move forward, because workers will take this process forward.”
Georgia congressman and member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Hank Johnson joined protestors and asserted that employees simply want to be properly recognized for their share in the success.
“Nobody wants to stop anybody from making money, but we do insist that that money be shared by all of the people involved, workers included,” he told the crowd. “Because if it were not for the workers, then you wouldn’t be making that big money.”
Rafanan, who also participated in the May protests, asserted that there was no ill-will towards McDonald’s as a business.
“We want McDonald’s to be successful. We just want them to pay a fair wage,” he said, adding that “Workers want to get something that will help them meet the basic necessities of their lives , and they want a voice in that McDonald’s. They want to be able to talk about what they need and how they need to organize themselves to get it.”
Similar walkouts were expected to take place in seven other cities across the country today. Protests will continue Tuesday at other restaurants in the area.
Follow Erin Williams on Twitter: @STLPR_Erin