Minimum Wage Strike

When I awoke one morning
There was a feeling in the air
Everything was quiet
Things were different everywhere
The Wobblies were back again
With Joe Hill at the mike
When all the minimum-wage workers went on strike

There was no one flipping burgers
All the grills were cold
Onion rings were in their bags
Fries were growing mold
There were no baristas at Starbucks
Asking, “how many shots would you like?”
When all the minimum-wage workers went on strike

There was no one pumping gasoline
No one driving from town to town
No one at the registers
All the highways were shut down
The cars were stuck in their garage
Businessmen on bikes
When all the minimum-wage workers went on strike

The fruit was falling off the trees
No one to load the trucks
Corn was rotting on the stalk
No farm hands to shuck
The workfare workers were hanging at home
Spending the day with their tykes
When all the minimum-wage workers went on strike

Yuppie parents were housebound
Their nannies left the job
Wal-Mart workers said enough
Of our labor has been robbed
The Foot Locker was locked up
The boss had to take a hike
When all the minimum-wage workers went on strike

Repeat first verse

“Minimum Wage Strike” originally appeared on the 1998 CD, We Just Want the World.  The following year on Live at Club Passim, and then in 2003 on Behind the Barricades:  the Best of David Rovics.

Since the $15 an hour movement got going, this song is more relevant than it was when I wrote it.  It’s a fantasy, obviously — the general strike in question has not happened in the USA quite yet, at least in the modern era…

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