Stand Up KC to hold strike demonstration downtown on Tuesday

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Last month, Terrence Wise, a Burger King employee we profiled in our story about the fast-food workers’ movement in Kansas City, flew out to Washington, D.C., and spoke at the first-ever Worker Voice summit, a gathering of union officials, activists and labor movement allies.

Wise spoke in front of the crowd, which included President Obama, who said this after Wise’s speech: 

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Well, everybody, please have a seat. Welcome to the White House. Let me offer at the outset the observation that Terrence could run for something. (Laughter.) But we’re so grateful to you for sharing your story, for everything you’re doing to organize and inspire Americans across the country. You already recognized your mom, Joann, another fast-food worker who’s come up today from South Carolina. This is actually a remarkable moment: Neither of them make enough money to be able to afford to travel much, so this is the first time Terrence and Joann have seen each other in 10 years…Ten years apart because they don’t earn enough to be able to just hop on a plane and visit each other. The only problem I have with this story is that I am not sure that Joann is old enough to actually be Terrence’s mom — (laughter) — based on how she’s looking there. Their story describes why we wanted to have this summit. Their story describes why workers need a voice. 

Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 10), Wise and others from the Stand Up KC movement will hold another demonstration in Kansas City to draw attention to their demands for $15 an hour and a union. In addition to fast-food workers, child-care workers are also participating in the strike.  

The strike comes on the heels of disappointing news for the movement locally last month, when the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council voted to repeal an ordinance, passed just a few months prior, that would have gradually raised the minimum wage in Kansas City to $13 an hour by 2020. The reversal was the result of a statute passed by the Missouri general assembly forbidding Missouri cities from passing their own minimum-wage laws.  

Tuesday’s rally will be held at Barney Allis Plaza (12th Street and Wyandotte) at 5 p.m. The group will march from there starting at 5:30 p.m. 

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