Black Friday Media Advisory

TODAY at 9:30AM: Low-Wage Workers Come Together for Black FridayProtests in Mag Mile and Loop

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Friday, November 23, 2012

CONTACT:

Catherine Murrell, (312) 523-3882, catherine@standupchicago.org

Elizabeth Parisian, (773) 960-9671, elizabeth@standupchicago.org

**Dramatic visuals in the Loop and Mag Mile. Call (312) 523-3882 for exact times and locations.***

CHICAGO LOW-WAGE FOOD AND RETAIL WORKERS TO JOIN WALMART WORKERS FOR BLACK FRIDAY PROTESTS

Workers will mark key shopping day with protests on the Magnificent Mile and in the Loop to raise awareness about their ‘Fight for $15’

Chicago, IL – This morning, low-wage food and retail workers in Chicago will protest with striking Walmart workers, before launching their own Black Friday actions in the Loop and along the Magnificent Mile. Hundreds of workers plan to engage customers along the iconic shopping stretch on one of the busiest days of the year for retailers, as low-wage workers’ push for better working conditions gains momentum across the country. Striking Walmart workers are expected to join the food and retail workers in the protest.

Last Thursday, the workers took their campaign for a $15/hour wage and a union contract public for the first time, with a rally and the founding convention of a new union for downtown retail and fast food workers—the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago. The workers are employed by major companies like Macy’s and McDonald’s.

They are standing together to demand that their employers raise the floor on wages and benefits to do right by their employees and strengthen the city’s economy by paying workers enough to spend on basic necessities. As the campaign gains momentum during the busiest and most profitable season of the year, the workers’ “Fight for $15” is bringing renewed scrutiny to the impact low pay at retail chains and restaurants in Chicago’s shopping districts has on workers and on Chicago’s economy.

“No one who puts in a fair day’s work—whether it’s at Walmart or Macy’s—should have to rely on food stamps to feed their family,” said low-wage worker Amie Crawford. “We’re joining together this Black Friday to make sure consumers have all the facts about the impact of low-wage on Chicago’s working families, our communities, and the city’s economy.”

Low-wage jobs have accounted for the vast majority of jobs the nation has gained in the recovery. Wages nationwide are now so low that millions of workers are actually below the poverty line and qualify for public assistance. In Chicago, a recent report revealed the share of employees 18 to 64 working in low-wage jobs rose to 31.2 percent last year from 23.8 percent in 2001, which poses a real threat for Chicago workers and for the city’s consumer-driven economy.

WHO:                   Low-wage food and retail workers

WHAT:                 Black Friday protests

WHEN:                 TODAY, Friday, November 23

WHERE:               9:30 a.m. – Protest in the Loop  Meet at corner of Washington and Dearborn

11: 45 a.m. – Protest on the Magnificent Mile  Meet at St. James Episcopal Church, 65 East Huron
Check out #BlackFridayChi and #Fightfor15 for real time updates on this exciting series of protests.

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