Though protests and demonstrations have been subdued in recent months, the ongoing fight for fast-food workers seeking $15 an hour ramps back up this week, with protests planned for more than 100 cities. This time, plans include sit-ins and other forms of civil disobedience, tactics some 1,300 workers unanimously agreed to at their first Fight for 15 convention in July, although so far, they’re saying little about what these protests will entail beyond that.
Any arrests would represent a significant escalation. Organizers are also calling on a totally unrelated group — home health aides — to join in, thinking that will create “a broader movement” that puts more pressure on fast-food companies to recognize unions, which only about 2 percent of restaurant workers actually belong to. Supporters were pleased with Seattle’s wage hike and the NLRB’s ruling that corporations do bear responsibility for franchisees’ labor decisions, but their side hasn’t had much progress otherwise. With midterms looming, the issue is heading back to the fore — President Obama even addressed it specifically for the first time on Labor Day, pointing to widespread protests as evidence that “America needs a raise.”