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Striking fast food workers hold signs saying "I am a man" and "I am a woman" in Manhattan, April 4, 2013.
Fast food workers from around the country are gathering outside Chicago this weekend to build connections and plan their continuing fight for a $15 an hour wage and the right to unionize, demands around which a series of one-day strikes have centered:
About 1,300 workers will attend sessions Friday and Saturday at an expo center in Villa Park, Illinois, where they’ll be asked to do “whatever it takes” to win $15-an-hour wages and a union, said Kendall Fells, organizing director of the national effort and a representative of the Service Employees International Union. [...]

“We want to talk about building leadership, power and doing whatever it takes depending on what city they’re in and what the moment calls for,” said Fells, adding that the ramped-up actions will be “more high profile” and could include everything from civil disobedience to intensified efforts to organize workers.

“I personally think we need to get more workers involved and shut these businesses down until they listen to us,” perhaps even by occupying the restaurants, said Cherri Delisline, a 27-year-old single mother from Charleston, South Carolina, who has worked at McDonald’s for 10 years and makes $7.35 an hour.

It's got to be immensely empowering for workers to have the chance to meet and share stories with people working for the same fast food chains, sharing the same struggles, even though they live in states hundreds of miles apart. Just the ability to get this many workers to a national conference is a show of organizational strength, and a clearer sign than any "we're going to keep fighting" quote can possibly provide that, yes, they're going to keep fighting.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hellraisers Journal, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Daily Kos.

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