Striking fast food workers across St. Louis will gather for rallies in University City on Thursday afternoon.
Wednesday workers from Jimmy John's and McDonald's stores walked out in a push for respect through better pay and improved working conditions. Shannon Garth-Rhodes, spokesperson with the effort, said some Jimmy John's employees were subjected to forms of mental abuse.
"In the past several months, Jimmy John's managers have required workers to publicly hold signs when they don't perform up to the sandwich chain's 'freaky fast' job expectations," Garth-Rhodes said.
One worker was ordered to hold a sign stating, “I made 3 wrong sandwiches today," Garth-Rhodes said; while another was forced to hold a sign that said, “I was more than 13 seconds in the drive thru.”
Garth-Rhodes told Patch this is part of a fight for the right to form a union without retaliation.
"Workers will strike for a $15 per hour wage floor and to take a stand against unfair retaliation targeting workers who are sticking together to speak out for better jobs," she said.
See video of fast food employees, supporters striking:
And efforts have only just begun.
The strike is expected to impact more than 20 restaurant locations around the St. Louis region and includes a wide range of fast food and fast casual establishments such as Jimmy John's, McDonalds, Panera, Chipotle, Jack in the Box, Hardee's, Domino's, and Wendy's.
A handful of these efforts will happen today on the Loop. Striking workers will gather at Kingsland and Delmar for a rally march on Thursday around 4:30 p.m., continuing over to Church's Chicken. A second rally, and concert, are planned for 5:30 p.m. at Leeland and Delmar.
Garth-Rhodes said the local action is part of a bigger movement. Similar strikes among fast food workers are occurring in New York City and Chicago.
Do you agree with the demands of the workers? Will this affect your access to fast food? Tell us in the comments.