A major effort to rally fast food workers for a $15 an hour minimum wage and union rights in Richmond got off to an awkward start Friday when the kick-off event was protested by some of the movement's own organizers.
The protesters claimed they were being denied union rights by the Service Employees International Union, the primary funder and organizer of the Fight for $15, the leading activist group in the minimum wage hike movement.
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry had just begun a speech at an event in the Greater Richmond Convention Center to kick off the weekend rally when maybe two dozen people rushed the stage carrying signs that said: "$15 minimum wage and union rights for all means FF organizers too." Henry was forced to stop her speech.
"The organizers would like to have their own rights recognized. We aren't being given ours," Jody Lynn Fennell, one of the protesters, told the Washington Examiner afterwards. She and other protesters said there were 65 organizers seeking to unionize. Their intention Friday was to present Henry with a letter outlining their grievances.