Workers push for $15 minimum wage in a global “Fight for 15”

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

May 16, 2014

NEW YORK – May 15th was dubbed by protesters as the day to “fight for 15.”

Thousands of fast food workers walked off their jobs and protested in front of popular fast food chains in 150 cities around the world.

From New York to Chicago, dozens of low wage workers and their supporters are demanding for a higher minimum wage.

Larry Holmes of the people’s power assembly said, “We are here in front of this, the biggest Mcdonald’s in New York, in Times Square, just to show our love and our support for these brave workers who are fighting for a decent wage, $15 an hour, and the right to a union.”

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

In New York, the state already raised its minimum wage to $8 an hour last December and will raise it again to $9 by the end of 2015.

President Obama has been advocating to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10.

While this is already happening for some new government contractors – the congress is yet to approve the $10.10 minimum wage for all workers.

New York City resident King Manalili said, “$10 is not enough. $15 dollars should be the minimum. No one can live with $10 anymore, especially in New York city, $10 is no good.”

Currently across the U.S., the average fast-food worker makes about $9 an hour, $18,500 a year.

Business owners have often argued that raising the minimum wage means higher labor costs that could force businesses to close or raise their prices. They say that would eventually lead to higher unemployment. But many workers don’t buy that.

“Their CEO’s are millionaires and billionaires,” Holmes said. “What we know is that they make tremendous profits at these restaurants and most importantly we know that these workers cannot survive on $7.25 or $8 an hour or even $9 or $10.”

Houston, TX resident Jon Evangelista said,”I think if it’s possible they should get higher wages. We work hard, so I think it’s fair.”

Organizers say workers will continue their protests in the weeks to come until they win “the fight for 15.”
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3 Comments on this post.

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  • JRB
    18 May 2014 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Hello people don’t get crazy? You take one step at a time $10.10 looks good. If you ask for $15, they will cut your hours of work to only part-time work not full time so be careful about asking to much wages. The main thing in life is you have a full time job? Not a part time job.

  • Victor
    18 May 2014 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    It is nice to get $15.00 an hour but must not forget the consequence of doing so.Are these restaurants own by mom and pop by franchise.So their profit is not too much.They pay for their franchise to McDonald’s, KFC’s and others.So the original owners are the getting rich no doubt about it.
    Through their hard work and sweat and imaginations they form companies and we should not blame themfor this.If not for their vision and taking risk we won’t be employed in these restaurants.Hardline UNION employees only want to SHARE THE GAIN AND NOT THE PAIN when the restaurant belly up..There is a need for a union to prevent abuse by the employer.

  • Max
    19 May 2014 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Employ 2 permanent worker at $ 15/hr, then employ 10 illegal worker, they will be happy and can survive for $5/hrs. We have 30 Million illegals in the US….Illegal are also willing to work “under the table wage” for $ 3.00/hrs with free foods.TPS is the solution so that they could stay in the US forever with $5/hr……..