Fast-food workers strike for wage hike

05/21/2014 3:13 pm0 commentsViews: 26
Corey Baldwin strikes calling for $15-an-hour  Photo by Gary McCarthy

Corey Baldwin strikes calling for $15-an-hour
Photo by Gary McCarthy

From City News Service

Fast-food workers in Los Angeles joined workers across the country May 15 in walking off their jobs as part of a wave of strikes calling for $15-an-hour wages and the right to form a union.

Workers from two McDonald’s and a Burger King in South Los Angeles took part in the strike.

Edgar Gonzalez, a McDonald’s worker at a restaurant on Crenshaw Boulevard, said he went on strike because he only makes $8.25 per hour.

“I would like to get a little bit more money so I can afford my rent,” Gonzalez said. “Sometimes I have to decide between buying food or paying the rent.”

He said that $15 per hour may not be enough to get out of poverty, but it would be a big step forward, especially since his daughter is two-weeks- old and he wants to go back to school.

A McDonald’s spokesperson said in a statement: “McDonald’s respects our employees’ right to voice their opinions and to protest lawfully and peacefully. If employees participate in these activities, they are welcomed back and scheduled to work their regular shifts.”

Elda Martinez, a representative for the Central America Resource Center, said the goal in asking for a $15 per hour wage is to allow workers to provide for their families.

“It is a fair demand,” Martinez said. “Many of the workers have families, unlike the myth that we’ve been told the workers are young, that they are students.”

Los Angeles City Council members have ordered a study of the economic effects of raising the minimum wage to $15.37 for hotel workers in the city.

The California minimum wage is $8 an hour and is set to go to $9 in July and $10 by 2016. Voters in cities such as Long Beach and San Jose have opted in recent years to raise the local minimum wage above the state’s for all or some workers.

President Barack Obama has also been pushing Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25.

 

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