DETROIT (WWJ) – Chanting “Don’t supersize our fries — supersize our wages,” a loud group of fast food workers managed to shut down a Detroit McDonald’s for a short time Thursday.
A few dozen protesters marched into the restaurant, in the 20000-block of Conant, hoping to draw attention to what they say is an unfair pattern of inadequate pay.
Leading the charge this time was human rights activists Pastor W.J. Rideout, who is among those calling for a $15-a-hour minimum wage.
“Right now, as it stands, making the minimum wage that they’re giving them, they’re not surviving. They’re barely making ends meet,” Rideout said. “They cannot afford to pay their house notes, their car notes, their insurance, their phone bills and their basic utilities in order to survive.”
The restaurant was closed for about 15 minutes, until police arrived to break up the crowd.
Rideout was unapologetic.
“We want McDonald’s corporation to know that we are looking for $15-an-hour and a union, and we demand $15-an-hour and a union,” he said.
“We want them to line up — the state of Michigan and Detroit metropolitan area — to line up with the state of New York, Oakland, Seattle and others that have raised to $15-an-hour.”
Organizers say the “Fight for $15″ movement — which began over two years ago with a few hundred people in New York — now includes thousands of workers in nearly 200 cities, as well as overseas. Similar protests were held Thursday at other restaurants around Michigan and across the U.S.