The Fight For 15 Chicago, in collaboration with the Music Box Theater and “The Hand That Feeds” team, bring you an exclusive screening and Q&A Panel of the award-winning film, “The Hand That Feeds.” The Q&A will include one of the film directors and a Chicago fast food worker currently fighting for a $15 living wage and the right to have a union without retaliation in the #FightFor15 campaign.
At a popular bakery café, residents of New York’s Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick. Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma López has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012, he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back.
Risking deportation and the loss of their livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming their own independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve.
In one roller-coaster year, they must overcome a shocking betrayal and a two-month lockout. Lawyers will battle in back rooms, Occupy Wall Street protesters will take over the restaurant, and a picket line will divide the neighborhood. If they can win a contract, it will set a historic precedent for low-wage workers across the country. But whatever happens, Mahoma and his coworkers will never be exploited again.
About Fight For 15:
Founded in November 2012, the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago is a union of fast food workers from the Chicago, Indianapolis, and Rockford area pushing for better conditions in their industries. Our Fight for 15 campaign seeks: $15/hour living wage and the right to form a union without retaliation.
Fast food is a $200 billion, 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, Indy, and Rockford’s and the nation’s economies stronger.