Fast food workers in Detroit walk off jobs to protest low wages - FOX 32 News Chicago

Fast food workers in Detroit walk off jobs to protest low wages

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    Thursday, December 5 2013 11:43 AM EST2013-12-05 16:43:13 GMT
    Workers walked off their jobs at a fast-food restaurant in Detroit as part of a national protest against low wages.  The goal: A raise from $7.40 to $15 per hour wage.
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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Workers walked off their jobs at a fast-food restaurant in Detroit as part of a national protest against low wages.
 
Dozens of sign-carrying McDonald's employees and others marched in front of the restaurant during the pre-dawn rally Thursday.

Fox 2's Roop Raj is at a McDonald's store located at 7-mile and the Lodge in Detroit where workers are staging a protest.  Play the video to see his report.>>

Some of their chants included: "Raise the minimum wage" and "Hey, hey, ho, ho, $7.40 has got to go."
 
McDonald's maintenance worker Julius Waters was among those protesting. The 29-year-old from Detroit says his $7.40-an-hour wage pays for his transportation to and from work but not much else.
 
Waters says $15-an-hour would go a long way toward helping him and his 6-year-old son improve their standard of living.
 
The restaurant industry has said sharply higher wages would lead to steeper prices for customers and fewer opportunities for job seekers.

Press release from an organizer of the protest:

Hundreds of fast food workers in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Pontiac and dozens of other Michigan cities are walking off the job today, Thursday, December 5 as part of a 100-city strike wave. The protest began at 6 a.m. when workers at a pair of Detroit McDonald's as well as one in Flint were joined by supporters in the fight for a $15 an hour wage and the right to form a union without interference.

Business slowed to a crawl at a McDonald's on the city's east side when four workers walked off the job. Management staffed the store instead.

"I'm out here to take a stand for $15 an hour," said Julius Waters, 29, who has worked at McDonald's for more than a year. Waters said that he does maintenance which should earn him at least $8 an hour, but he only makes the minimum wage of $7.40. "I need to be able to take care of my child," he added, referring to his 6-year-old son.

The strikes are part of a growing fast-food worker movement that started with 200 workers striking in New York City just one year ago.

Workers are expected to strike at major fast-food restaurants across the state, including McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway's, Wendy's, Checkers, and KFC. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines.

WHERE:

McDonald's, 14204 W. 7 Mile (Near the Lodge/M-10)

WHEN:

10 a.m., Thursday

WHY:

Our country's fastest growing jobs are also the lowest paid. While the fast-food industry is making record profits, its workers are forced to rely on public assistance - to the tune of $251 million in Michigan taxpayer dollars each year - just to afford the basics.

 

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