Two thousand workers flooded the streets of Pittsburgh, Pa. on April 15 to demand a raise of the minimum wage to $15/hour and a union for all. The action took place at 4:00pm in front of the Cathedral of Learning in the densely student-populated area of Oakland.
Fast food workers, union organizers, health care workers, students, activists, adjunct professors, and many others from various sectors of the working class came together on the national day of action after months of tireless organizing around Pittsburgh and its neighboring communities to get the word out; working class people can not, and will not, accept the meager wages they are given for their hard work while the companies that employ them pull mega-profits from their struggle to survive.
Liberation News spoke with Ashona Osborne, local organizer and fast food worker, about why we, the workers, were on strike and the gravity of the action: “We are all out here for better wages and respect on the job. We have working women rising, we have high school people out here, we shut down Pitt campus today. We had teachers walk off! We the people have the power and we are taking it back!”
Joshua Orange, student and organizer, added: “We don’t want just a concrete ‘$15 and a union’ and that’s the end of the story, we want to create a society where people are legitimately and sincerely concerned about the living conditions of their communities.”
The thousand-strong, three-mile body of workers proceeded to march, shutting down the bustling Forbes Avenue. Art, a Wendy’s employee, spoke with Liberation about why he continues to fight to end these crimes against the working class: “I’m fighting for $15 and a union because I have been working for near 30 years without a raise and no sick pay, no healthcare, no anything. I’m somewhat handicapped now for working so long and standing on my feet and I don’t get no appreciation out of, or from, the corporation. But I think we can do better if we just keep standing up for our right to fight! And that’s why I’m out here!”