DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Minimum wage protests are planned in metro Detroit Thursday as part of a statewide “biggest-ever day of strikes” for $15 an hour.
The D15 campaign — comprised of fast food, retail, child care, homecare, adjunct professors and a host of other low wage earners — will converge on at least a half-dozen sites throughout the state as part of a national effort to push for living wages for workers.READ MORE: Former US Rep. Dan Benishek Of Michigan Dies At Age 69
Hundreds of low wage workers and their supporters will rally to call out “corporate bad actors that don’t pay their fair share of taxes” as they lift up the need for a $15 hourly wage.
Protests in Detroit are being held at multiple McDonald’s restaurants and at several nursing homes. About 60 supporters were gathered outside of a McDonald’s restaurant in Highland Park just after 6 a.m., making sure their voices were heard loud and early.
Pastor W.J. Rideout, an activist who help organized the protest, said their efforts are paying off.
“Places like the Joe’s Crab Shack has raise theirs to $14 an hour, $15 an hour. We’re looking at Walmart has raised theirs up some. So, we know that very soon here at McDonald’s and Burger King and the like, franchises are going to raise theirs up, too.”READ MORE: Michigan Moves To Fund Mental Health Like Physical Health
The minimum wage in Michigan stands at $8.50. An increase passed back in 2014 will gradually raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $9.25 by 2018.
State minimum wages have been rising the past few years as pro-labor groups including unions call for higher pay for workers, especially those at fast-food restaurants. That’s forcing small businesses that are more vulnerable to labor cost increases than large companies to reassess their operations. Some are thinking of cutting staff, and others are raising prices.
California and Massachusetts have the highest statewide minimum wages at $10. California and New York this month became the first states to pass laws mandating that a statewide $15 minimum be phased in over the next few years. Between 2013 and 2015, seven cities in Washington state and California either passed laws raising their minimums to $15 or had referendums approving the increase, according to the National Employment Law Project, a group that advocates for lower-wage workers. Some other states raise their minimums annually to keep pace with inflation.
Small and independent retailers and restaurants are likely to feel the biggest impact of rising minimums because they employ many low-wage hourly workers. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. workers paid at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour work in retailing or the leisure and hospitality industries, which include fast-food restaurants, according to the Labor Department.
TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.MORE NEWS: Michigan Matters: Impacting Health & Well-Being Across Metro Region