DETROIT – Friday was a day few will forget.
Starting at 6:00 a.m. and ending late in the afternoon, up to 400 fast food workers, making a $7.40 minimum wage, walked off their jobs at fast food outlets across the city here. Along with their allies from the labor, faith and social justice community, they held large rallies at McDonald’s, Popeye’s, Wendy’s, Long John Silver’s and Burger King supporting the new “D15” campaign calling for a $15.00 livable wage. (Article continues after video.)
In front of the McDonald’s on West Grand Boulevard a huge crowd marched and spilled into the street. Cars passing by honked continuously to show support.
Twenty one year old Tequila Van Horn has worked at McDonald’s for three years. She makes 7.40 an hour. “I work hard under tough conditions. I should get paid. You can’t do nothing in life on $7.40.”
Pastor W.J. Rideout said I’m here in support of fast food workers because they need a wage that allows them to support their families. “These corporations are making billions; they should pay their workers more.”
McDonald’s made $5.46 billion in profits over last five years, a 27 percent increase.
Across the Detroit metro area 53,000 people are employed in the fast growing, fast food industry. Two thirds are women and their average age is 28.
“Seven dollars and forty cents is junk food money. You have to fight for what is right,” said Van Horn.
Video: Demonstrators rally in front of the McDonald’s on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit (PW/April Smith).
Photo: Detroit fast food workers stand together, May 10, for better wages (courtesy of Jackie Dick).