Fast-food workers went on strike Thursday in close to 200 cities, the most widespread walkouts the industry has seen to date. And for the first time, convenience and dollar store workers joined them.
The number of strikers (“thousands,” the campaign said yesterday) was no doubt a tiny fraction of the mammoth fast-food industry. But the protests have already spread further and accomplished more than most people thought possible when they emerged two years ago. In November 2012, a couple hundred fast-food workers in New York City staged the first strike of its kind against the virtually union-free industry. Yesterday, according to organizers, fast-food workers in more than 190 cities walked off the job.
In a new front for the campaign, convenience store or dollar store workers, who started joining fast-food workers at meetings in recent months, were also out on strike in cities including Philadelphia, Chicago, and Atlanta. Organizers say those strikes involved hundreds of workers, in 21 cities, targeting companies including Dollar Tree (DLTR), Dollar General (DG), Family Dollar (FDO), Shell (RDSA:LN), Sunoco (SUN), and BP (BP). At a Speedway (MPC) in St. Louis, workers started their strike by lying down inside their store, an act of protest against the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner by police.