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Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

  • CORRECTS TO SAY SECOND NATIONAL CONVENTION INSTEAD OF FIRST - FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, protesters gather outside of the McDonald's Corporation headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., during the annual shareholders meeting demonstrating for higher wages and the right to unionize. On Friday, July 25, 2014, in Chicago, organizers are holding the second national convention of fast-food workers. They’ll be discussing how to move forward with the protests and other actions calling for higher wages that have been taking place in cities around the country since late 2012.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

    CORRECTS TO SAY SECOND NATIONAL CONVENTION INSTEAD OF FIRST - FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, protesters gather outside of the McDonald's Corporation headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., during the annual shareholders meeting demonstrating for higher wages and the right to unionize. On Friday, July 25, 2014, in Chicago, organizers are holding the second national convention of fast-food workers. They’ll be discussing how to move forward with the protests and other actions calling for higher wages that have been taking place in cities around the country since late 2012.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

  • FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, protesters gather outside of the McDonald's Corporation headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., the annual shareholders meeting demonstrating for higher wages and the right to unionize. On Friday, July 25, 2014, in Chicago, organizers are holding what they're calling the first national convention of fast-food workers. They’ll be discussing how to move forward with the protests and other actions calling for higher wages that have been taking place in cities around the country since late 2012.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

    FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, protesters gather outside of the McDonald's Corporation headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., the annual shareholders meeting demonstrating for higher wages and the right to unionize. On Friday, July 25, 2014, in Chicago, organizers are holding what they're calling the first national convention of fast-food workers. They’ll be discussing how to move forward with the protests and other actions calling for higher wages that have been taking place in cities around the country since late 2012.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

  • CORRECTS TO SAY SECOND NATIONAL CONVENTION INSTEAD OF FIRST - FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, protesters gather outside of the McDonald's Corporation headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., during the annual shareholders meeting demonstrating for higher wages and the right to unionize. On Friday, July 25, 2014, in Chicago, organizers are holding the second national convention of fast-food workers. They’ll be discussing how to move forward with the protests and other actions calling for higher wages that have been taking place in cities around the country since late 2012.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
  • FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, protesters gather outside of the McDonald's Corporation headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., the annual shareholders meeting demonstrating for higher wages and the right to unionize. On Friday, July 25, 2014, in Chicago, organizers are holding what they're calling the first national convention of fast-food workers. They’ll be discussing how to move forward with the protests and other actions calling for higher wages that have been taking place in cities around the country since late 2012.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

Fast-food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

About 1,300 workers are scheduled to attend sessions today at an expo center in Villa Park, Illinois, where they’ll be asked to do “whatever it takes” to win $15-an-hour wages and a union, said Kendall Fells, organizing director of the national effort and a representative of the Service Employees International Union.

The union has been providing financial and organizational support to the fast-food protests that began in late 2012 in New York City and have included daylong strikes and a protest outside this year’s McDonald’s Corp. shareholder meeting that resulted in more than 130 arrests.

“We want to talk about building leadership, power and doing whatever it takes depending on what city they’re in and what the moment calls for,” said Fells, adding that the ramped-up actions will be “more high profile” and could include everything from civil disobedience to intensified efforts to organize workers.

“I personally think we need to get more workers involved and shut these businesses down until they listen to us,” perhaps even by occupying the restaurants, said Cherri Delisline, a 27-year-old single mother from Charleston, South Carolina, who has worked at McDonald’s for 10 years and makes $7.35 an hour.

Delisline said she and her four girls live with her mother, but the family still has difficulty paying utilities and the mortgage while providing for her children.

She said she has not been to a doctor in two years and does not get paid if she stays home sick.

“To have a livable wage, it’s going to need to be $15 an hour,” said Delisline. “We make the owners enough money that they have houses and cars and their kids are taken care of. Why don’t (they) make sure I can be able to do the same for my kids and my family?”

Legacy Comments2

I wonder if these people know that millions of good jobs go unfilled each year in the USA?? Yeah, you might have to move. Nah...let me just go buy a bullhorn and some signs and stand here yelling at you...thats easier.

yeah...running a bullhorn and holding signs is a much better use of your time than taking some classes at your local community college, educating yourself, and moving up the ladder. "Delisline said she and her four girls live with her mother, but the family still has difficulty paying utilities and the mortgage while providing for her children."...really..ya think?

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