Fast food strike in Memphis shuts down part of Highland Avenue, - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fast food strike in Memphis shuts down part of Highland Avenue, classes at nearby school

Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A fast-food workers' strike at University of Memphis on Wednesday was one of hundreds held across the country on Wednesday.

Strikers said they chose Tax Day, April 15, to highlight the income inequalities around the country.

For the last two years, fast food workers in Memphis participated in protests around the city demanding $15 an hour and a workers' union.

Workers say they will not stop protesting until they see legislative action.

Fast food strikers who rallied in the courtyard at University of Memphis on Wednesday stood with the support of some adjunct professors, home care and child care workers, SCLC representatives, and a 1968 sanitation striker.

"When it's not your issue then it's not important to you." said SisterReach founder Cherisse Scott. "These folks are just trying to have a living wage and $15 an hour only amounts to about $30,000 a year and we are still talking about that's not enough for a family of three."

Strikers moved their protests to the streets, shutting down lanes on Highland Avenue. A number of Memphis police officers were present, but no arrests were made.

The planned protests led St. Anne Catholic School administrators to cancel classes saying, "logistically it would be difficult for students to get on campus."

Around the country, strikers are mobilizing and gaining ground. In February 2015, Walmart announced that it will raise all of its full-time and part-time employees pay to at least $9 an hour starting in April.

Still, critics of the national movement say a minimum wage hike would force many small business owners to close their doors.

"I hear that but we have people out here who work for McDonalds, we have people out here who work for Burger King, we have home care workers, we're talking about billion-dollar companies," said Scott.

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