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Local News

Protesters rally at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook despite severe weather

Demonstrators battle rain and thunderstorms May 25 near the McDonald's Plaza in Oak Brook. Protesters 
are advocating for the "fight for 15," an increase for minimum wage of quick service restaurant employees 
to $15 per hour.
Demonstrators battle rain and thunderstorms May 25 near the McDonald's Plaza in Oak Brook. Protesters are advocating for the "fight for 15," an increase for minimum wage of quick service restaurant employees to $15 per hour.

OAK BROOK – Severe weather could not stop the "fight for 15" on May 25 in Oak Brook.

If anything, the hundreds of protesters who remained to march on the corporate headquarters of fast food giant McDonald's were more enthusiastic in calling for an increase for minimum wage of quick service restaurant employees to $15 per hour.

"The water, you could hear throughout the whole time you could hear it, didn't stop us," Ernestina Sandoval, a McDonald's worker from Oakland, Calif on hand for the march said. "It's only water, but we had to put our point down that no thunder, no water will stop us."

Demonstrators unleashed an array of cheers and chants, including "We believe in equal pay!" as they shut down traffic starting at about 3 p.m. near McDonald's Plaza in Oak Brook.

The Service Employees International Union had originally planned for thousands of protesters from across the county to march near the McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook the evening of May 25 and the morning of May 26.

But when the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning from 5:06 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. May 25 in DuPage County, Oak Brook police sent two tweets saying "Permission to the participants to use the roadway has been revoked due to the severe thunderstorm warning... Marchers have begun to walk on Westbound 22nd street. 22nd street closed from Jorie until further notice."

Still, hundreds continued the march, with many braving the elements overnight in tents outside the headquarters representing unions and businesses from an array of geographic and economic areas.

"McDonald's is the second biggest company in the world, and the biggest fast food corporation," said protester and Sonic employee Anna Swanger from Greensboro, N.C. "Whatever they do, other big billion dollar companies will do as well."

Demonstrations are scheduled to resume 6 a.m. May 26 in Oak Brook.

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