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Fast-food workers strike in St. Paul for $15 minimum wage

ST. PAUL — About 200 fast-food workers and community allies rallied for a strike Monday morning, Sept. 4, to push for a $15 minimum wage.

"Hold the burgers, hold the fries, make our wages super sized," attendees chanted, according to Stephanie Gasca, one of the event organizers. Fast-food workers organized with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (an organization dedicated to "building the power and leadership of low-wage workers," according to its site) for a rally in the morning and a day-long strike.

The Labor Day rally took place outside McDonald's on Seventh Street West near Madison Street in St. Paul, but employees from fast-food restaurants all over the city attended.

So many workers came from a McDonald's in Minneapolis (at Lake Street near 31st Avenue) that the restaurant was temporarily closed until at least 4 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, St. Paul mayoral candidate Elizabeth Dickinson, and St. Paul councilmember and mayoral candidate Dai Thao also attended.

"The CEO of McDonald's is making $9,000 an hour and can probably afford to get by on $6,000 an hour," Ellison said in a prepared statement. "It's absolutely ridiculous that they claim they can't afford to pay workers $15 minimum wage and I'm proud to stand with workers this Labor Day as they fight to reclaim what the true meaning of Labor Day really means, and that is to uplift workers."

About a dozen cities including Minneapolis have approved the $15 minimum wage.