International Women's Day event includes protest against McDonald's treatment of its workers

International Women's Day Visits McDonald's, a new video from Labor Beat, is now available On YouTube at: It is lso archived at: On March 8, 2014 (International Women's Day) the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago put together two related events. One was a visit to the Haymarket Martyrs Monument at Forest Home (Waldheim) Cemetery, and then a bus trip back into downtown Chicago to put on a protest at the well-known "Rock-n-Roll" McDonald's restaurant in the tourist-saturated river north section of downtown.

International Women's Day protesters took on the Rock And Roll McDonald's in defense of worker Carmen Navarrette, who was denied a day off despite her medical problems. And the words of the boss would have resulted in a union grievance -- if Navarrette and her fellow McDonald's workers had a union contract like Chicago teachers do. Labor Beat photo by David Vance.What was the relationship between the two locations?

Dana, a McDonald's worker, explained to the assembly of WOCC activists at the Cemetery monument "I'm here to support my McDonald's women. On behalf of International Women's Day we would like to celebrate the life and legacy of Lucy Gonzalez Parsons [whose gravestone lies nearby, and immigrant Mexican/Black activist wife of Haymarket Martyr Albert Parsons] and Emma Goldman [the original 'rebel girl' also buried at the Cemetery]." These two women were renowned for standing up for respect and dignity for workers.

Afterwards, on the bus, Dana explained the objective for the rest of the day. "We're going to the Rock-n-Roll McDonald's, to support a worker who has experienced verbal abuse, and a lot of workers at that location say verbal abuse is big there."

At McDonald's, about thirty protesters joined the WOCC as they marched into the restaurant while chanting "Ol, ol, si se puede." While inside the restaurant, Carmen Navarette, a worker at that McDonald's, told the media "I was sick and I asked for a day off but he [the manager] told me that I had to come in to work. Then he said it was better for me just to shoot myself in the head." This action reminds labor activists that May Day (May 1, 2014) and the commemoration of the Haymarket Martyrs is just around the corner. Length - 4:55

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