Who We Are
Founded in November 2012, the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago is a union of fast food and retail workers pushing for better conditions in their industries. The expanding Fight for 15 campaign seeks: $15/hour living wage and the right to form a union without retaliation.
Fast food is a $200 billion a year industry and retail is a $4.7 trillion industry, yet many service workers across the country earn minimum wage or just above it and are forced to rely on public assistance programs to provide for their families and get healthcare for their children. Each year, our labor brings billions of dollars into stores and restaurants nationwide, but almost all of these profits go to make executives and investors even richer, while we struggle to provide our families with basic necessities like food, rent, healthcare and transportation. Just in fast food, 52 percent of families are enrolled in one or more public assistance programs—like food stamps and medicaid—compared with 25 percent of the workforce as a whole. Such low wages cost taxpayers about $7 billion a year.
We believe that people who work hard for a living should make enough to support themselves, their families and their neighborhoods—and that workers should be treated with dignity and respect. We believe this will not only improve our lives, but create jobs and make Chicago’s and the nation’s economies stronger.