The Golden Arches may become known for something other than its food. Yesterday about 250 police officers, including those in riot gear, met a large crowd of employees, clergy, community members and labor organizers protesting low pay outside McDonald’s corporate headquarters near Chicago. Oak Brook police report arresting more than 100 of a crowd it estimated at 1,000 to 1,500. Organizers put the number, arriving that morning on 32 buses, at 2,000. It remains to be seen whether or how the march on Hamburger University, including Moral Mondays leader and NAACP-NC president, Rev. William Barber, SEIU president, Mary Kay Henry and McDonald’s employee Eddie Foreman, can change the game for fast food workers and McDonald’s, which yesterday closed and barricaded the campus. Workers have been demonstrating since 2012 for a $15-an-hour wage increase, against wage theft and erratic scheduling and for the right to unionize without retaliation.
More protests are planned today. Shareholders are gathering for McDonald’s annual meeting where, according to the AP, they’re also expected to cover executive pay packages (highlighted in this 2012 Bloomberg investigation) and marketing to children in communities of color.