BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Across the country in 100 cities Thursday, thousands of fast food workers walked off the job demanding better wages. In Baltimore, a group of protesters joined the call for action.
Derek Valcourt has more on what they’re asking for.
This is no small raise they want. In fact, they are asking for more than double the current minimum wage.
In New York, protesters demonstrated outside of a McDonald’s, calling for higher wages. In D.C., they marched in the streets.
Fast food employees across the country are demanding a super-sized big raise to $15 an hour, saying they can’t survive on the current minimum wage.
“You have to wait every two weeks for a check that you’re like, ‘Will I have enough to pay all my bills? What’s going to be my next move?'” one employee said.
In Baltimore, protesters showed up at two different McDonald’s locations, denouncing the state’s current $7.25 minimum wage, which was last raised in 2009.
“Gas and electric, utilities are going up, rent is going up. But wages have not gone up,” a fast food worker said.
An effort to raise the federal minimum wage to $9.80 never made it out of a gridlocked Congress. And in Maryland, a bill last year for a $10 minimum was defeated in a Senate committee.
But protesters appear to have an ally in the White House. President Obama continues his message on income equality in America.
“I’m going to keep pushing until we get a higher minimum wage for hardworking Americans across the entire country. It will be good for our economy. It will be good for our families,” the president said.
The National Restaurant Association says labor unions are organizing the rallies with few fast food workers and says raising wages would lead to layoffs.
“You end up with a lot of people that have part-time jobs now to having no jobs and being unemployed tomorrow,” a member of the National Restaurant Association said.
Organizers say they are planning more protests in the future.
You can also expect the minimum wage will be a hot topic in the race for governor next year. All three Democratic candidates say they would support an increase.
The U.S. Senate could vote on a federal minimum wage hike by the end of the year, but it has little chance of passing in the Republican controlled House.
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