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Hundreds rally for workers' rights in downtown Minneapolis, block traffic


Hundreds of workers rallying for $15 minimum wage and other workers' rights marched from Northeast Minneapolis into downtown Tuesday, blocking traffic for some morning commuters.

Retail janitors who are contracted to clean stores including Macy's, Kohl's and The Home Depot were joined by fast food, airport and retail workers, as well as Black Lives Matter Minneapolis for the protest, according to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis on Facebook.

The morning began with a strike at McDonald's, before protesters marched down Hennepin Avenue toward the downtown Macy's for a "Reclaim our City" rally. They then planned to head to Minneapolis City Hall to bring their demands to the city council, the post says.

Protesters temporarily shutdown the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, the Business Journal notes, before heading down Nicollet Avenue.

Not only do workers want a higher minimum wage, but they are also requesting paid sick days, fair scheduling, and dignity at work across the country, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis says.

These issues have been a hot topic in Minneapolis for over a year, with workers in Minneapolis holding similar rallies for workers' rights, MinnPost explained, prompting the city to launch the Working Families Agenda.

The agenda addressed some of the workers' concerns including paid sick time and fair scheduling, which have been met with backlash from some in the restaurant industry. That led Mayor Betsy Hodges to scrap the fair scheduling plan last month – then about a week later, the city council voted to put the kibosh on the whole thing, at least for now, the Star Tribune reported.

Hodges however says she's still pushing to make paid sick time mandatory, the Business Journal says.

The Minneapolis protest is among 270 planned across the United States Tuesday, KSTP says.

Some more tweets from Tuesday's protest and rally:

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