Action Now members joined the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago on Black Friday to march down the Magnificent Mile and hold rallies at the locations of retailers and restaurants that refuse to pay workers a living wage.
The Workers Organizing Committee is a new union made up of downtown low-wage workers that are fighting for a living wage of $15 an hour (fightfor15.org). Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and so it was an opportunity for WOCC to voice their discontent with their low wages and working conditions. The companies located on the Mag Mile make billions of dollars a year, and their CEOs make millions, yet they pay their workers barely enough to survive.
While marching down Michigan Avenue, workers and supporters chanted, “Downtown workers can’t survive living on $8.25!” Some workers dropped banners from inside Water Tower Place and Forever 21, while passing out flyers and chanting. As WOCC member and Macy’s employee Sartoria Briggs said, ““We are basically here to let people know what’s been going on has been going on too long and it has to cease. This is corporate greed where money goes all the way up to the top and never comes down.”
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Chicago Tribune (November 23, 2012) Retail Workers March for Higher Wages Amid Black Friday Shoppers
Chicago Sun Times (November 23, 2012) Retail Workers Protest Low Wages, Get Inside Macy’s and Water Tower
WGN (November 23, 2012) Protesters Hit Walmart, Macy’s on Black Friday
CBS (November 23, 2012) Retail, Restaurant Workers Stage Black-Friday Wage Protest
Univision (Nov. 23, 2012) Protestas Del Viernes Negro En Chicago