Coordinated protests by fast food workers are expected to occur in 150 U.S. cities and more than 30 countries on Thursday, May 15, according to early news reports. Small scale demonstrations by employees of McDonald’s–reported by Salon to be a target abroad–and other fast food chains have gained national attention since 2012. The planned global action would mark a significant escalation in U.S. fast food workers’ efforts to secure a $15-an-hour wage and other reforms.
A major financial supporter of the global effort, reports the AP, is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the fastest growing labor unions in the country. With more than 2 million members, SEIU is also the union to which Constance Malcolm belongs. She is the mother of unarmed teen Ramarley Graham, shot and killed in February 2012 by the NYPD in their Bronx home. Malcolm’s local, 1199SEIU, was a key organizer of the city’s 2012 Father’s Day march against stop-and-frisk, which Malcolm believes led to her son’s shooting.
Later this afternoon at a New York McDonald’s, the AP reports, is when labor organizers will officially announce the May 15 global protests.