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Cedar Rapids McDonald’s workers to join nationwide strike demanding union rights as 2020 candidates show support

May 22, 2019

Booker, Castro, de Blasio Inslee Among Presidential Hopefuls to Stand with Cooks, Cashiers; Make Bold Demand To Put More Workers in Unions.

Workers to Launch ‘Fight for $15 2020’ to Turn Out Voters, Push Candidates to Embrace Unions as the Best Way to Tackle Inequality, Combat Racism

CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids McDonald’s workers will strike Thursday, the day of the company’s shareholder meeting, demanding the right to a union, part of a series of walkouts in more than a dozen cities that is attracting the support of leading 2020 presidential candidates.

Workers from across the country will travel to Dallas, the site of McDonald’s shareholder meeting, to participate in a video town hall with Sanders. Across the country, presidential candidates — such as Julián Castro (Durham) and Jay Inslee (Chicago) — will join McDonald’s workers on strike lines Thursday, making a bold statement by calling on the company to respect workers’ right to a union.

WHO: Cedar Rapids McDonald’s workers in the Fight for $15 and a Union

WHAT: Cedar Rapids McDonald’s workers to go on strike, part of coast-to-coast strikes for union rights, coinciding with McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting in Dallas, Texas.

In Dallas, a video town hall with striking McDonald’s workers and Bernie Sanders ahead of McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting

WHERE: McDonald’s, 1530 1st Ave. East, Cedar Rapids

WHEN: Thursday, May 23rd, Strike starts at 7 a.m., Speaker Program starts at 7:30 a.m.

FIGHT FOR $15 2020

When presidential candidates join workers on strike lines Thursday, it will also mark the launch of Fight for $15 2020, a worker-led effort to push candidates to embrace unions as the best way to tackle inequality and fight racism. The initiative will seek to make the need to put more workers in unions a defining issue of the 2020 campaign, in much the same way workers in the Fight for $15 and a Union made a $15 minimum wage a flashpoint in the 2016 race for the White House.


In 2016, workers in the Fight for $15 and a Union went on strike ahead of both Republican and Democratic presidential debates, pushing candidates to “come get their votes” by supporting a $15 minimum wage. A strike before the first Republican debate in Milwaukee led Fox News moderators to make support for $15 the first question to candidates.

In the 2018 midterms, workers in the Fight for $15 and a Union participated in an aggressive effort to engage infrequent voters, helping to defeat anti-worker candidates for governor in Michigan and Wisconsin. The movement’s 2020 program will aim for a similar effect in driving both the conversation on the campaign trail and results at the ballot box.