Outside fast-food restaurants, at public parks and on college campuses, low-wage workers in Kansas City and St. Louis on Wednesday joined the national call for a $15 per hour minimum wage and unionization.
Organizers of the low-wage worker movement, dubbed the Fight for 15, said similar protests were held in 250 cities nationwide. The motivation for the events remains the same as when they began in 2012: Raising awareness and affecting change for fast-food workers and other laborers who say they can’t get by on their low pay.
But the composition of the crowds at Wednesday’s events was different. In addition to fast-food workers, the demonstrations drew adjunct college professors and supporters from unions like the United Auto Workers, the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union.
In Kansas City, Mayor Sly James attended an event and gave an impassioned speech about the low wages some employers pay.
“It is immoral. It is unjust. It is unreasonable. It is unforgivable. It is unexplainable,” he said, “that we all live in the richest, most powerful, best country in the world and people work 40 hours a week and cannot feed their families.”