10 Year Olds on the Picket Line: 5th Grade Students Stand with Workers

The fifth-grade students from our Jewish Cultural Sunday School, joined by fast food workers from Fight for $15 Massachusetts and community supporters, held a protest Sunday afternoon at the Cleveland Circle Dunkin’ Donuts to call for a $15 per hour wage and the right to unionize for all fast-food workers.

The students shouted chants such as: “Hold the bagels, hold the crullers, Dunkin’s pay us 15 dollars!” and “What do we want? 15! When do we want it? Now!” before delivering to management over one hundred petition signatures they collected. students with protest signs

"In Sunday school we learned about the challenges many of our own ancestors faced as immigrant workers, and how many of them joined the labor movement to improve their lives," said ten-year-old Amishai Goodman-Goldstein. "This year, we learned about how hard it is for service employees to survive on the current minimum wage."

The students, along with fellow schoolmates, parents and local community members, marched from their Sunday School in Brookline to the Dunkin’ Donuts in Brighton.

“The fight to earn a decent wage is not our fight alone,” said Latianna Holmes, Boston Dunkin Donuts worker and a member of Fight for $15 Massachusetts. “Poverty wages leaves a lasting impact on our communities and our families, and it’s time for billion dollar corporations like Dunkin' Donuts to pay decent wages to all its employees. We won’t stop fighting until we win our $15 an hour and union rights!"

The demonstration is part of a growing movement that started in late 2012, when 200 fast-food workers went on strike in New York City. Over the past three years, this cause has spread across the nation, with over 1,000 protesters joining the March for Racial and Economic Justice in Boston on the National Day of Action on November 10, 2015. students with organizers

The protest is inspired by the 5th graders’ study of the history of Jewish immigrants who toiled in textile sweatshops. As part of their Jewish education, the 10-year old students are learning the values of dignity and justice for all working people. Boston Workmen’s Circle Sunday School students are demanding that Dunkin’ Donuts and other fast-food chains offer livable compensation, benefits, and workplace rights.