Friday, August 02, 2013

Video of Fight for 15 rally downtown

[VIDEO] I witnessed this at various points in time in downtown Chicago Thursday. At one point in the Loop at State/Lake and then another point up north at Water Tower Place. The Sun-Times was one of many media outlets who covered this rally.
About 400 area retail and fast-food workers, like some colleagues nationally, participated in a strike Thursday to demand raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“If not $15, then something. I mean give us something. I work 36 hours a week and barely make enough to pay my rent, gas bill, light bill. It gets to the point where I barely have enough for lunch sometimes,” said Angel Richardson, 21, who works at McDonald’s. “I’m five months pregnant, what am I gonna do in four months? I hope something changes.”

The minimum wage is $7.25 nationally and $8.25 in Illinois. Working 40 hours a week, a minimum wage earner in this state would make $17,160 per year.

Workers in other cities, such as New York, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Detroit, also held one day strikes throughout the week. It is unclear how many workers participated in other strikes.

This was the second day of one-day strikes in Chicago. On Wednesday, a group of different workers demonstrated outside of the Whole Foods in Lakeview and McDonald’s locations in Albany Park and Brighton Park.
I became aware of the such activism out of the New York on Tuesday's edition of Fox News' The Five. I generally agree that many workers should be able to make more money and I expect many are consistently asking their bosses for raises still very iffy about raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.

It sounds good when you think about it, but this is really a tough time to even consider raising the price floor for labor especially for 1st-time teenaged workers. And also I have always wondered if those who are advocating for a living-wage are thinking that working in retail and fast-food will be as good as it gets for many of these workers. It's me that's thinking that it isn't especially if they all have aspirations.

Many of the protesters were carrying signs Fight for 15 signifying how many money they hope to make an hour. There is an aptly named organization out of Chicago who are advocating for that and you can visit their website for more information. Or even to join their e-mail list.

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