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Photos: All Of These Workers Are Demanding A Higher Minimum Wage

By aaroncynic in News on Nov 11, 2015 4:01PM

Hundreds of demonstrators took over the loop Tuesday in a march that was the culmination of a day-long set of strikes targeting fast-food locations to demand low-wage workers get a raise. According to organizers, the strikes were part of some 500 protests nationwide to demand a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Demonstrators say they vow to make a $15 an hour minimum wage and the right for workers to organize an election issue in 2016.

“Many people like me are all underpaid and cannot support our families. When we get our $15, we won't have to depend on public aid; no Medicaid or Link for food,” said Nancy Garcia,” a McDonald’s and Burger King employee, in a press release. “That’s why in 2016, elected officials and those running for office need to make sure these corporations work for us and not against us.”

groups began their actions early Tuesday morning outside a Bucktown McDonald’s at Milwaukee and Western, and later picketed a McDonald’s in Bronzeville, before marching to CPD police headquarters. Organizers say better pay for low-wage workers is an issue of racial justice, which is connected to the struggles many people of color face in their communities. Mary Hood, another McDonald’s employee, told NBC:

“Today we are also fighting for racial justice because our communities are both underpaid and overpoliced. The political system and law enforcement needs to be held accountable for their actions just like fast food corporations and CEOs need to be held accountable for low pay. This is why we are also mobilizing around issues racial justice for the 2016 elections.”

Fast food workers were joined by low-wage workers from many job sectors, including home and child care, students, airport and nursing home workers. In a statement provided to NBC, McDonald’s said that it respects the rights of people to demonstrate, and that it and its franchisees “support paying our valued employees fair wages aligned with a competitive marketplace. We believe that any minimum wage increase should be implemented over time so that the impact on owners of small and medium-sized businesses - like the ones who own and operate the majority of our restaurants - is manageable.”