Fast Food Workers Across Country Protest Federal Minimum Wage
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Fast food workers in Pittsburgh joined in a national rally today to raise the federal minimum wage.
Employees from Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Taco Bell and Bruegger’s Bagels took part.
The demonstrations are going on across the country, including here in Market Square.
“We’re out here to let corporate America know that we won’t stand for poverty wages,” said Marcus Scott, a Dunkin’ Donuts employee.
The workers want the minimum wage raised from $7.25 to $15 per hour.
“You really can’t make all your income meet. You can’t really pay for all your bills; you can pay for like two bills, and then after that you don’t have that much money,” said Dominique Mackson, a local Wendy’s employee. “It’s hard to make ends meet.”
The change, they say, would benefit families as well as the economy.
“What people don’t realize is that people working for minimum wage are not teenagers for the most part, a lot of them are adults with children, some of them are veterans, a lot of them are full-time students trying to get by,” Kyndall Mason, of One Pittsburgh, said.
President Obama has said he will support a Senate measure that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
“The opportunity gap in America is now as much about class as it is about race, and that gap is growing,” President Obama said. “So if we’re going to take on growing inequality, and try to improve upward mobility for all people, we’ve got to move beyond the false notion that this is an issue exclusively of minority concern.”
The protest in Market Square started at 6 a.m.
About 100 workers from fast food restaurants all across the city gathered.
Some frustrated customers at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Market Square said they were harassed by protestors.
“We all got to start somewhere,” said Pamela Rutlege Cain, of Aliquippa. “Nobody is going to go give you a job making $20 an hour [for] necessarily make doughnuts or coffee; however, everybody doesn’t go and choose their life’s goal to be making doughnuts and coffee.”
The protest in Market Square lasted for about an hour.
Another was planned for noon today on Pittsburgh’s North Side.