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Photos: Several Arrested During #FF15 Protest After Hundreds Of Workers Walked Out

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Nov 29, 2016 6:10PM

Hundreds of fast food workers walked off their jobs and blocked traffic early Tuesday morning as part of the ongoing Fight For $15 movement to raise the minimum wage. Chicago police made several arrests near a West Town McDonald, according to a Chicagoist reporter on site, and gave out at least 50 citations, according to NBC.

The early morning protest was part of a day of actions around the city and the country; later in the morning hundreds of O'Hare International Airport workers were rallying to demand increased wages and better union protections, and to decry the influence of big businesses in national politics.

"The workers will wage their most disruptive protests yet to show they will not back down in the face of newly-elected politicians and newly-empowered corporate special interests who threaten an extremist agenda to move the country to the right," according to a statement from organizers, who noted that employees at 20 airports around the country are participating today.

Workers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in River North also marched and held a rally and press conference before heading to O'Hare, where baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, janitors and other airport workers are on strike.

Updated 3:00 p.m.: Ald. Scott Waguespack was among those who spoke at the O'Hare rally. He said it's bad for Chicago's image in the world to have wage theft and minimum wage violations behind-the-scenes at the airport.

“Chicago wants to be a global city but we cannot be until we have a government, contractors and airlines and elected officials working together to make sure people are paid fair wages, that are respected and have working conditions acceptable for a global population," he said. "When people come to this airport they see a shiny tree, shiny new terminals...what they don’t see is the wage theft, the minimum wage violations and working conditions these workers go through every single day.”

Keisha Rivera, a cabin cleaner, told the crowd that the workers are not asking for "special treatment"—just fairness.

"We work at O'Hare, one of the biggest airports in the world, but we still live poverty," River said. "We're not asking for special treatment, we're asking for decent treatment."