If you had problems getting your morning Egg McMuffin on the way to work Thursday, you weren’t alone. Dozens of fast-food workers walked off the job to protest low pay, saying minimum wage doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to raise a family.
Jacquay Johnson, a full-time fast food worker, stood in front of a Burger King in Gentilly complaining that his $7.25 hourly paycheck makes a daily struggle when it comes time to feed his 10-year-old son.
“$7.25 is unfair because that’s not enough to provide for our children nor pay the bills,” he told bystanders. “$15 an hour is livable.”
That’s exactly what they’re asking for, $15 an hour, more than double the starting wage at most fast0food restaurants. And they don’t think it’;s too much to ask of a multi-billion dollar industry.
“I just think corporations are being greedy making millions and billions of dollars. they can’t take out of that to bump up the minimum wage?” added fast-food worker Rhonda Honeycutt.
At least one lawmaker turned out to show support. State Senator Karen Carter Peterson stood with protesters, saying raising the fast-food wage could pull millions of Americans off welfare.
“75% of the workers here in New Orleans have to get government assistance even though they work full-time in fast food,” claims Peterson. ” That’s not what we’re looking for when we talk about the American dream.”
The protest was part of a nationwide fast-food walkout Thursday. Similar walkouts were staged in 99 other cities across the country.