VIDEO: Bay Area activists on Labor Day demand increase in minimum wage, right to form union

 

OAKLAND (KRON) — Oakland was the scene of a pair of major Labor Day rallies and a march to City Hall.

The San Francisco Labor Council joined forces with the Alameda Labor Council, community activists, and union members.

They are all demanding an increase in the minimum wage and the right to form a union.

Labor Day is a time for hundreds of workers to participate in a nationwide strike and do some marching.

“What do we want? Union! When do we want it? Now!” protesters chanted on Monday.

The day got started with a rally for minimum wage workers at a McDonald’s restaurant on Jackson Street.

These marchers say it is time for fast-food workers to earn $15 an hour and have the right to unionize.

“Yes, it is about $15 and a union and showing our solidarity across the nation with the workers across the field,” Labor Day marcher Patricia Cardoza said. “We are seeing a lot of decrease in union power, and it is important to be here advocating for every worker.”

Increasing the minimum wage is just one of the reasons Justin King is marching.

“It is way more than that,” another marcher Justin King said. “It’s about providing those benefits and being able to take care of your family in this expensive Bay Area.”

The march ended at Frank Ogawa Plaza where union organizers fired up the crowd.

While many of the demonstrators are demanding $15 an hour and the right to form a union, there are other folks who are gainfully employed who came to show their solidarity on this Labor Day like Lydia Majure, a neuroscientist who makes a more than $15 dollars an hour.

“Absolutely, I am a relatively privileged class of worker in some ways because I have a graduate degree and all that,” demonstrator Lydia Majure said. “It’s not about me. It is about solidarity.”

The rally ended peacefully.

Organizers say the next step is a massive 2018 voter registration drive aimed at unseating any politicians who do not support $15 and a union.

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