Those arrested on Wednesday included 101 McDonald’s employees and 37 supporters, including Service Employees International Union (SEIU) president Mary Kay Henry. The company asked corporate headquarters employees to work from home in anticipation of the protest. The group of about 2,000 marchers were met at the edge of the property by dozens of police, many of them in riot gear.Hundreds of protesters returned Thursday morning as the fast food giant's annual shareholder meeting kicked off. They forced some defensive remarks out of CEO Don Thompson; you know you've created pressure when you've got the CEO of a major company saying "We are people. We do have values at McDonald’s. We are parents." But McDonald's workers are parents, too, and McDonald's is raking in profits while not paying those parents enough to raise their kids. That's just one of the reasons the company's workers are organizing.
Organizing is a process of building power, and fast food workers haven't yet built enough power to force raises from the companies that employ them. But they can't be ignored.