A Scan of Critical World Developments
Low-Wage Workers of the World Unite!
The "Fight for 15" campaign began in the US as a struggle of workers at McDonald’s and other fast food chains for a $15 minimum wage, a true living wage unlike the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Now the campaign is showing signs of becoming a transnational force with coordinated strikes and actions in 35 countries. In a parallel development, US and European unions, working in tandem, have sparked an EU inquiry into possible tax avoidance by the fast food behemoth’s European operations. In South America, Brazil’s two largest labor federations have targeted McDonald’s for shorting their workers through time-clock fraud and unpaid unemployment insurance. As the campaign broadens its reach, other global brands such as Wal-Mart are feeling the pressure to respond. To date, the wage gains from these efforts have been modest. Nevertheless, such emergent transnational solidarity could presage an international service workers movement capable of confronting the power of transnational brands. There’s much to gain and little to lose.