DETROIT (WWJ) – Minimum wage workers across the nation are not giving up their fight for $15-an-hour.
A loud crowd of protesters briefly took over the lobby of the state government building at Cadillac Place in downtown Detroit Tuesday afternoon, chanting, “This is what democracy looks like!” and carrying signs.
It was one of dozens of rallies across the country marking the anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“This is some of the same injustices that he was fighting for 49 years ago,” said minster Fuqua Bey, who helped to organize Detroit demonstration. “We thought it was of the utmost importance that we still highlight those injustices right here on this day.”
“We haven’t won the fight; it’s still going down,” he added.
Employees from various fast food restaurants told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill that they don’t get much respect, although they work hard, and they deserve to make a decent living.
Burger cook Maesha Brown said she struggles to get by on what she’s paid for 30 hours a week.
“Everybody is living below means and the prices are fool and you can’t even afford it out of one check,” Brown said. “A lot of people in our community are suffering.”
Supporters in the crowd included Mike Shane, who works as an engineer.
“I have a good job — way more than $15-an-hour — but I’m here because I am a resident of Detroit, and I want to see my neighbors, the kids running up and down the street on my block, I want them to make a decent wage.”
Response to Tuesday’s rally has been mixed on social media.
On WWJ’s live video of the event, Christine Taylor commented: “Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be life long careers earning as much as a skilled career job which required an education. It’s no ones fault but your own if you haven’t invested more into your future.”
Thomas Kleinklaus chimed in, “Good luck with that….cops first responders, people who work a whole hell of a lot harder make less.”
There was a significant police presence at Tuesday’s rally, but no reported issues and no arrests.