Rosalie and Jett, autumn 2012 … I am wearing the fall coat I wore last night while walking my little boy …
Greenwood Street McDonald’s worker, this afternoon
By Rosalie Tirella
Last night I walked my dog …and I wore my fall coat because it was so cold out. Heavy, dark, lined, my fave coat is perfect for the season, will cuddle me as I make my way through the Woo autumn landscape … . Walking Jett, my little Mountain Feist/Husky, I thought about the innocents of Syria – women, children – dying from inhaling burning, toxic gases. Horrific .. I want our president to intervene so badly …
I worried about the workers of America and wondered why we, the greatest country on earth, pay millions and millions of our people $7 or $8 an hour for all their hard work – and leave it to them to survive – meanly. Labor Day weekend and to have so many Americans struggling is disconcerting, depressing … These days in the USA, there is so little respect for labor! Our unions are at their weakest. Low wage workers (at least in Woo) too afraid to make some noise, agitate.
I visited my local McDonalds today (on Greenwood Street) to take some more pics for my ICT stories on RAISING THE FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE TO AT LEAST $10/hour. The manager spoke to me. She said she had to give my paper – the one with the McDonald’s worker on the cover – to “headquarters” for them to peruse. And no, I could not talk with her or her workers or even take photos of the property for an InCity Times story. She told me she had liked the story. It was a good story. But everyone had to just work – they were alerted by “headquarters” that there would be walkouts and protests at McDonald’s all over the country. She acted as if this were a bad thing.
I said: PLEASE, WAKE UP!!! America supports you! You deserve to be making $10 or $11 an hour! You have the American right to organize. There is nothing wrong with demanding a living wage for a hard day’s night. Let’s get together, here! Please!!!
She was young – in her mid 20s – and she felt part of the McDonald’s team. AND SHE DID NOT WANT TO LOSE HER JOB!
Her uniform was crisp and clean. Her hair pulled back, her name tag glinted in the summer sun (she was outside having a smoke).
I tried to educate, proselytize. I think if I had hung on a bit longer, she would have called 911.
I went inside “my” McDonald’s. I looked for my young friend, the young man I put on the cover of ICT a few issues ago. I did not see him. I got afraid for him. … I began chatting up another manager, a Latina who looked worried. I saw an older woman – late 50s maybe early 60s – at the fryolator removing baskets of french fries. She looked sweaty, tired. She turned to look at me as I spoke. My heart broke for this lady.
I got a coffee – fair trade, Newman’s own – all profits go to Paul Newman charities, specifically his Hole in the Wall camps for kids suffering from cancer.
The big cheeses of McDonald’s make billions of dollars. And they have tried to move in the right direction re: animal rights.
Why can’t they see people rights???
To learn more about the fight to raise the wages of fast-food workers in America, click here!