Peoria Public Radio News
7:11 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Some Peoria and Bloomington fast food workers striking today

Some fast-food customers in search of burgers and fries Thursday ran into striking workers instead. Thousands of workers around the country staged walkouts, including in Peoria and Bloomington, to push restaurant chains to pay higher wages.

Organizers say the movement is expected to be the largest nationwide strike by fast-food workers. Strike demonstrations took place at the Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s on Western Ave early Thursday morning. Employees at the McDonald’s on Main Street and a Hardee’s in Bloomington are also part of the movement. Maria Trisler has worked at the McDonald’s on Main for the last three years. She was joined by about 50 employees from various chains rallying outside the fast food restaurant.

“Why I’m doing this is not just for me and other people who are working fast food, but yeah, I have to consider my son. I’m a single mother, and it’s really tough to make ends meet. I’m currently getting help with public assistance and even that doesn’t take me very far. Sometimes I have to rely on food pantries at local churches and that sort of thing.”

This follows a series of strikes that began last November in New York City, then spread to other cities over the summer. Workers say they want $15 an hour. That's more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The restaurant employees are also demonstrating for the right to form a union without retaliation or unfair labor practices.