Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders marched with a crowd of hundreds to the Iowa Hall of Fame event in Cedar Rapids Sunday afternoon with striking McDonald’s workers from Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.
The workers were demanding the right to unionize so they can raise their pay, end sexual harassment and workplace violence.
Chants of "This is what Democracy looks like" as the @BernieSanders camp marches in front of the Hall of Fame event in Cedar Rapids. Marchers spelled out "UNION" in big blue & pink letters. pic.twitter.com/5nna1sn1BB
— Paige Godden (@PaigeGodden) June 9, 2019
“We are fighting for a $15 minimum wage and the availability to unionize all workers,” said Kelly Osborn, who works for the McDonald’s on 1st Avenue in Cedar Rapids. “We should have a union to fight for our rights.”
Osborn said she’s only worked at McDonalds for a few months, but she has worked in the fast food industry for a few years.
When asked whether she was a Sanders supporter, Osborn said, “I’m here fighting for my $15 and my union.”
Sanders supporters chanted “What do we want? $15! If we don’t get it? Shut it down!”
Jaron Brandon, a Des Moines McDonald’s worker said in a press release he has worked for the company for four years and is making only $9.10 an hour.
“That’s nowhere near enough to get by,” he said in the release. “I can’t afford to pay rent and I struggle every month to cover the bills.”
The rather large crowd chanted for a while outside the venue for the Democratic fundraiser, doing chants of “No middle ground!”
by Paige Godden