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De Blasio to join McDonald’s strikers in Iowa as nationwide walkout for union rights wins candidates' support

May 22, 2019

Booker, Castro, Inslee, Sanders also 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

DES MOINES — Des Moines McDonald’s workers will strike Thursday, the day of the company’s annual shareholder meeting, demanding the right to a union, and they’ll be joined by 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio.

The strike in Des Moines is one of more than a dozen nationwide Thursday, as presidential candidates de Blasio, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Julián Castro and Jay Inslee support workers in making a bold statement, calling on McDonald’s to respect workers’ right to a union.

WHO:  2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio, Des Moines McDonald’s workers in the Fight for $15 and a Union

Nationwide: Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Jay Inslee, Bernie Sanders, McDonald’s workers with the Fight for $15 and a Union, and more

WHAT: Des Moines 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, 3610 Merle Hay Rd., Des Moines

WHEN: Thursday, May 23rd at NOON

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.