Fast food workers walk off job in wage protest - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Fast food workers walk off job in wage protest

Updated:
  • HeadlinesHeadlinesMore>>

  • Friends, colleagues remember life of slain IMPD officer

    Friends, colleagues remember life of slain IMPD officer

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-19 16:34:23 GMT
    Picture provided by familyPicture provided by family
    The influence of an IMPD officer killed by her ex-husband in a murder-suicide went far beyond the police department. Neighbors and those who worked with Ofc. Kimberlee Carmack are still trying to understandMore >>
    The influence of an IMPD officer killed by her ex-husband in a murder-suicide went far beyond the police department.More >>
  • Gap between Indiana wages, living costs grows

    Gap between Indiana wages, living costs grows

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:29 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:29:27 GMT
    Indiana workers' pay didn't keep pace with inflation last year, and economic experts say the state needs to focus more on the quality of jobs instead of the quantity to close the distance.Hoosier workers saw a mere 0.8 percent increase in pay last year. But federal data released this month show inflation grew 1.4 percent in the Midwest.Business leaders tell the Indianapolis Business Journal (http://bit.ly/1hVKISa ) that a high number of job seekers has allowed many employers to hold down wage...More >>
    Indiana workers' pay didn't keep pace with inflation last year, and economic experts say the state needs to focus more on the quality of jobs instead of the quantity to close the distance.Hoosier workers saw a mere 0.8 percent increase in pay last year. But federal data released this month show inflation grew 1.4 percent in the Midwest.Business leaders tell the Indianapolis Business Journal (http://bit.ly/1hVKISa ) that a high number of job seekers has allowed many employers to hold down wage...More >>
  • Lack of psychiatrists hits mental health patients

    Lack of psychiatrists hits mental health patients

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:51 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:51:16 GMT
    A nationwide shortage of psychiatrists is forcing many mentally ill Indiana patients to wait months for an appointment.The Health Resources and Services Administration reports more than half the state's counties have a shortage of mental health professionals. The Journal Courier has found there is just one psychiatrist for every 57,585 residents in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties.The shortage stems in part from low reimbursement rates by insurance companies. A private psychiatrist will m...More >>
    A nationwide shortage of psychiatrists is forcing many mentally ill Indiana patients to wait months for an appointment.The Health Resources and Services Administration reports more than half the state's counties have a shortage of mental health professionals. The Journal Courier has found there is just one psychiatrist for every 57,585 residents in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties.The shortage stems in part from low reimbursement rates by insurance companies. A private psychiatrist will m...More >>
INDIANAPOLIS -

It's going on in New York City, Milwaukee, Detroit, and in Indianapolis. Fast food workers in 50 cities across the country are on strike, all with the same message. They want to make $15 an hour.

Before dawn, they lined Meridian Street demanding a raise. Workers walked off the job at the McDonald's restaurant at 16th and Meridian at 6:00 a.m.

"Pay me what I'm worth. That's all I'm saying. Nothing else," said one McDonald's employee.

What he and other workers say they're worth is $15 an hour. They also want the right to unionize.

"Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Poverty wages got to go," protesters chanted.

Billed as a strike, most of the three-dozen or so people protesting do not actually work for the company. Dwight Murray was among four or five present who do.

"We feel that $15 would be sufficient. Just based on the workload and what's asked of us," he said.

The owner of the McDonald's on 16th St. wouldn't go on camera but he said he pays all of his employees at least $8 an hour to start, and he said he pays managers $10 an hour. He's currently hiring.

McDonald's released this statement:

"We provide training and professional development for all of those who wish to take advantage of those opportunities. Our history is full of examples of individuals who worked their first job with McDonald's and went on to successful careers both within and outside of McDonald's."

"We are proud to provide a place where thousands of people, who come to us asking for a job, can enter the workforce at a starting wage, gain skills and advance with us or move on to something else," Wendy's said in a statement.

While those demonstrating acknowledge there may be opportunity for some, they say there needs to be a living wage for all.

"These are mothers, these are fathers, these are folks who are trying to support their kids, and unfortunately when they're paid so little, they can't support their kids so they're on food stamps. They're getting government-subsidized healthcare and that means we're subsidizing the McDonald's and Taco Bell business model," said Prof. Fran Quigley, IU McKinney School of Law.

That model relies on a steady stream of customers wanting to pay low prices and until now, employees willing to work for minimum wage.

In Los Angeles, protesters marched in front of a Burger King while holding signs saying they'd like to be "lovin' a living wage."

In Wilmington, Delaware, demonstrators took their message inside the Burger King where they work.

In New York City, protesters crowded the sidewalk outside of a Wendy's while chanting, "Workers united will never be defeated."

In Chicago, protesting workers stood outside a Wendy's and wore "fight for 15" T-shirts.

Similar strikes have taken place in seven other cities earlier this summer with protesters basically saying that they are living in poverty despite the fact that they have full time jobs. They say they simply can't make ends meet with the amount of money they're making.

Here is the break-down of current pay and what workers are asking:

 - Current Minimum Wage: $7.25 
 - Annual Income: $13,920
 -  Demanding: $15 
 - Annual Income: $28,000

President Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage to $9 an hour - still far below what the workers are demanding.

Powered by WorldNow