"It's time to turn up the heat in the demand not just for a $15 an hour minimum wage, but for union rights".
Some people believe fast-food work is a job, not a career meant to sustain a family.
Among them was Laura Williams, 50, who has worked full-time at the Portillo's in River North for four years and earns $11.07 an hour, just pennies above the IL minimum wage that went into effect July 1. Still, fast-food workers and their supporters say something has to change. Fast-food workers organized with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (an organization dedicated to "building the power and leadership of low-wage workers", according to its site) for a rally in the morning and a day-long strike.
"For as much as we work and as hard as we work, we deserve that $15 an hour".
The t-shirts on their backs said it all: "We are worth more". "Or you can live in your auto and get a 24 Hour fitness membership", said security contractor Brown, who has experience with both choices. The university plans to implement their wage increases over a two-year span, with the $15 wage promised by 2019.
Locally, the strike kicked off a series of events planned by unions and community groups pushing a $15 minimum wage in St. Paul and funding for enforcement of the historic minimum-wage ordinance passed in Minneapolis earlier this year. "You know how many people we feed a day?" The result is a 6% decrease in pay for workers, or about $125 less per month compared to 2014.
Holton said the increase would benefit more than just the worker.
"I think $15 an hour it's a fair wage, especially because the economy is going up, the cost of living is going up".
"You can't pay child support". "It would help us little people have better healthcare".
"Fighting for 15 isn't something that affects me personally", said Nicole Nguyen, a faculty worker.