Fast-food and other low-wage workers have been striking McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Jimmy Johns, among others, regularly for over four years now.
Here in St. Louis, the Workers’ Education Society not only hosted strike-day activities at our HQ, our members – like Al Neal, who served as the mid-west coordinator for the Fight for $15 – played a leadership role in organizing fast-food workers and winning a two-year contract for Washington University’s adjunct professors.
Other WES members, like Don Giljum and Rebecca Bolte, participated in community walk-backs, i.e. they physically walked striking workers back on to job sites and informed management that reprisals against striking workers would not be tolerated. Not on our watch!
Additionally, WES members canvassed Aldermanic Wards to raise awareness about a St. Louis City Board of Alderman bill to raise the City minimum wage to $15 an-hour. Ultimately, a St. Louis City minimum wage of $11 an-hour was won, though it is still being fought in Missouri’s supreme court.
WES members were part of the ‘sausage making’ on a daily basis, talking with Alder-people, testifying at BOA hearings and organizing rallies at City Hall in collaboration with St. Louis Jobs with Justice and others. Further, WES members, like Alderwoman Cara Spencer (Ward 20), helped to lead the charge internally, organizing other Alder-people, tallying votes and communicating with the external campaign.
What’s next? WES will soon embark on an extensive educational campaign in Ward 9, where Alderman Ken Ortmann voted against the minimum wage increase; Ortmann is up for re-election in March 2017.
Every voter in Ward 9 will know where he stands when it comes to raising St. Louis’ working families out of poverty. We’re committed to holding elected officials accountable!
Rebecca Bolte, WES board member,
testifies to the Board of Alderman
about the benefits of higher minimum wages
for small businesses.
WES Leaders demonstrate
in City Hall in support of
higher wages for St. Louisans.