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Birth of a Union: Nationwide Fast Food Workers Convention Is Underway

More than 1,300 workers from all over the country traveled to Illinois this weekend for a nationwide fast food workers convention.
Photo by Alice Speri

More than 1,300 workers from all over the country traveled to Elmhurst, Illinois this weekend a nationwide fast food workers convention and to demand a $15 an hour minimum wage, and the right to form a union.

Coming on the heels of 21 months of action that started with a spontaneous walkout in Brooklyn and ballooned into massive strikes and protests outside fast food chains and their corporate headquarters, the fast food workers movement has quickly grown into one of the most visible low-wage workers organizing efforts in the country.


This weekend's convention is an attempt to capitalize on the momentum and successes of the last months and organize regional chapters of workers into a union.

The biggest fast food strike in the world's history. Read more here.

On Friday, workers celebrated the victories achieved so far: nationwide recognition of their movement and the $15 minimum wage voted on by the Seattle city council earlier this year.

"This happened because of the people in this room," Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), told an electrified room on Friday night. "Because of you, the movement for $15 is getting stronger. It's getting larger."

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