“They’re already slowly killing us with the way they’ve got us living,” said Terrence Wise, a Burger King worker in Kansas City, Mo., who served as M.C. for much of the convention. “Are we going to stand up?” he asked. “I want to see who is willing to do whatever it takes, who is willing to get arrested.”A series of one-day strikes by fast food workers in cities across the country have fueled local and state minimum wage fights, led to workers at some fast food restaurants being fired in retaliation, and led to raises for workers in other restaurants. Civil disobedience is an obvious next step, and one we got a hint of in May when protesters were arrested around McDonald's shareholder meeting.
After his pleas, the workers voted unanimously to conduct a wave of civil disobedience actions.
The number of workers in any one location willing to engage in civil disobedience may be small for now, but as part of a multipronged strategy including minimum wage campaigns, wage theft cases, and a complaint asking the National Labor Relations Board to declare McDonald's a joint employer with its franchise owners, the escalating workplace and in-the-streets activism planned creates still more pressure on fast food companies to improve their labor policies.