DETROIT (WWJ) – More than 100 people spent their morning in the rain outside a west side Detroit McDonald’s, demanding higher wages for fast-food workers.
Chants of “What do we want? $15. When do we want it? Now!” rang out among the large crowd outside the restaurant at Plymouth and Greenfield Roads. Among the protesters was Laquisha Jackson, who is struggling to makes a living off the minimum wage.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccines Saved Nearly 20 Million Lives In First Year, Study Says
“McDonald’s is a billion dollar company and they should give us $15 an hour for the hard work that we do,” said Jackson. “They want us to come to work — and we do a lot, we just don’t deal with hamburgers and fries, we do so much work in there — so they should pay us.”
Protesters say the current wage isn’t enough to take care of their basic responsibilities — especially for those trying to support families.
“Many people have children that they have to take care of and I don’t feel that it’s right, so that’s why we’re out here fighting for $15 and a union,” said Jackson.
The protesters are targeting their efforts toward local city halls, saying if elected officials don’t support their push for $15, they are going to work against the lawmakers.READ MORE: Michigan Ballot Initiative Aims To Protect Abortion Rights
“We’re only getting paid $8.15 an hour just to work, but we’re the ones in there busting our butts out for it,” said Lashonda Obie. “So, at the end of the day we are out here fighting to get the minimum wage up, and I feel that it should go up as much as we all here work.”
The protesters are continuing their demonstration with a rally Tuesday afternoon in front of the Joe Louis Fist in downtown Detroit.
McDonald’s has previously said in a statement that pay starts at minimum wage but the range goes higher, depending on the employee’s position and experience level. It said that raising entry-level wages would mean higher overall costs, which could result in higher prices on menus.
“That would potentially have a negative impact on employment and business growth in our restaurants, as well as value for our customers,” the company said in a statement.MORE NEWS: AG Nessel Says Abortions Are Still Legal In Michigan
The National Restaurant Association says the low wages reflect the fact that most fast-food workers tend to be younger and have little work experience. Scott DeFife, a spokesman for the group, has said that doubling wages would hurt job creation, noting that fast-food chains are already facing higher costs for ingredients.