CEDAR RAPIDS – 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is joining McDonald’s employees in Cedar Rapids on June 9 as they demand rights to a union. This is the second time in recent weeks that Sanders will be joining workers in low-income jobs to help get rights to a union.
Workers in Des Moines will be joining in on the strike on Sunday to help form a union. They see this as the best way to help increase pay, end sexual harassment and workplace violence.
“I’ve been working for McDonald’s for four years and I’m only paid $9.10 an hour,” says Jaron Brandon, a Des Moines McDonald’s worker. “That’s nowhere near enough to get by. I can’t afford to pay rent and I struggle every month to cover the bills. We need the right to a union to fight for higher pay and solve other problems McDonald’s workers are facing, from erratic scheduling to sexual harassment to violence at work. McDonald’s should use their billions in profits to pay good wages and give us the union rights we are demanding.”
Sanders held a video town hall with striking Dallas, TX employees on the steps of a McDonald’s shareholder meeting in late May.
“What we have got to do is…make sure that workers at McDonald’s, workers in the whole fast-food industry, workers at Walmart, workers in all of the low-wage industries in this country have a right to join a union,” Sanders said to workers during the May 23 town hall. “Workers cannot get a fair shake unless they are organized, unless they are able to sit down and negotiate with their employers for fair wages, unless we address the issue of sexual harassment, the issue of violence on the job. The only way workers are going to make real progress and be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, to be treated with respect is with a union.”
The walkout will be taking place at the 1530 1st Avenue East McDonald’s location at 11:45 a.m. The march starting point is Southeast 1st Street & Southeast 2nd Avenue at 12:45 p.m. It will end at the DoubleTree Hotel at 350 1st Ave NE at 1:15 p.m.