Locol is a response to the challenge of food access in underserved communities in which issues of poverty, hunger and access to nutritious food are exclusively about race. But it is an imagined solution, designed to overcome the wrong threat. It is based on a dangerous minimization of the facts, lacking a larger racial analysis and the admission that racism, not some aberrant market failure, is the culprit in the deprivation of communities of color.
Many workers are not only fighting for the $15 an hour and a union that first drew them to the campaign. They’re fighting for a better world. They see their actions as re-directing the course of history, as building a future for their children and grandchildren, and as helping workers not only in other fast food outlets but also in many other jobs and industries.
Chipotle will offer hourly employees benefits such as sick pay and tuition reimbursements starting July 1. The announcement comes as workers and advocates call for higher wages and benefits so that people in the restaurant industry can make a living without relying on public assistance.
Like the other low-wage workers that protested yesterday, the ultimate goal of the burgeoning adjunct faculty movement is fair pay and decent working conditions. What yesterday’s demonstrations showed was that this could be a substantial and sustainable struggle that is primed to create waves throughout the labor market. And unifying all low-wage workers—from fast food to faculty—will be an important part of that.