Stand Up KC, a campaign to give a collective voice to low-paid fast-food workers, staged a rally and march Tuesday afternoon to advocate for higher pay and union rights.
About 500 people, many wearing red Stand Up KC T-shirts and carrying placards, chanted and marched for about a mile from Gillham Park at 39th Street and Gillham Road to a fast-food restaurant at 39th Street and Broadway.
The end of the march was a Jimmy John’s restaurant. The corporate CEO of Jimmy John’s has been a vocal opponent of Obamacare.
Several march participants said that their work hours have been cut in recent weeks and that their managers have said it was because of the costs of Obamacare. The relevant aspects of the Affordable Care Act have yet to go into effect.
Many of the march participants said they were “on strike” from their jobs. They are not currently union members, so the strike was unofficial, but unionization is one of the goals for the campaign.
The Kansas City rallies were similar to events held in several other U.S. cities, where organizations such as Jobs With Justice have allied with union organizers. In Kansas City, events were sponsored by the Workers Organizing Committee of Kansas City, a coalition of advocacy and labor groups.