NORTH SIDE (KDKA) – A group of fast food workers held a protest on the North Side to demand higher wages Thursday morning.
Dozens began protesting around 6:30 a.m. outside of a McDonald’s. They are calling for wages to be increased to $15 an hour.
Workers like Lalene Gremany, who works at KFC, says she can’t support herself and her child on her current income.
“We feel like we need medical benefits, we need bigger pay, we need to be treated fairly, we need better hours. We get treated like crap at work and we just want more,” she said.
According to the group One Pittsburgh, this isn’t a protest for teens to get some extra spending money. This protest is to help mothers and fathers better provide for their families.
The protestors are also calling for the right to form a union without retaliation from management.
The group also plans to protest outside of Wendy’s, Subway and KFC today.
Congressman Mike Doyle also rallied with protestors outside of Wendy’s.He is co-sponsor of a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Some Pittsburghers told KDKA they agreed that minimum wage needed to go up, but thought $15 an hour seemed excessive.
Protests are expected in 150 cities across the United States.
KDKA Radio Host Mike Pintek reached out to Associate Professor of Economics at Duquesne University, Antony Davies, to learn more about the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage.
Is this really something that these workers want to do?
“It doesn’t make economic sense because what you’re really doing when you raise the minimum wage is knocking a whole class of people out of the labor force,” said Professor Davies. “Now, I’ll preface this by saying the raise in minimum wage is good for some people. It’s not good for everyone. Who it’s good for are the people who manage to keep their jobs. Who it’s bad for are the people who lose their jobs because their labor just isn’t worth the minimum or who are never hired in the first place because their labor isn’t worth the minimum.”