On New Year’s Eve, Yasmine James, 20, faced the fight of her life at the McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Florida when she found herself getting dragged over the counter by Daniel Willis Taylor, 40, as if she was personally responsible for the city’s new anti-plastic-straw law. Fearing for her life, James landed the combo heard around the world, getting Taylor to release her and then immediately demand she be fired for defending herself when other employees and her manager stepped in.
And is many things are in 2019, the incident was caught on video, went viral, and raised many questions and concerns about workplace safety as it concerns service and fast food workers and why exactly the manager continued to serve the clearly racist and dangerous Taylor instead of backing up Ms. James.
It appears that the virality of the video was enough to inspire workers to say “enough is enough” and use the watershed moment to pressure McDonald’s into “establish[ing] store security protocols, and provide protection and a voice on the job for its predominantly Black and Latinx women workforce”. This is because they believe that in addition to continuing the battle for an increased minimum wage (the Fight For $15) that would overall improve the cost of living for many service workers in the sunshine state, said wage should go hand-in-hand with demanding overall better workplace conditions at places like McDonald’s—particularly where workplace violence is concerned.
Workers are planning to stress this much this with a walkout this upcoming Tuesday at 11 am in cities like St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Tampa, followed by a demand for better training in order to handle workplace violence.
McDonald’s has yet to comment.
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