BOSTON (WWLP) – Demanding a $15 per hour wage, workers at Boston fast food restaurants walked off the job and protested in the streets Thursday. The state’s capital is one of 150 cities nationwide in which workers are on a one-day strike; demanding increased pay.
Protesting outside a McDonalds on Washington Street at Boston’s busy Downtown Crossing, workers held signs reading “Whatever it takes for $15 and a union” and “Better pay for us supersize Boston’s economy for you.” On Beacon Hill, they were joined by home health care workers, who came to support the effort to raise the minimum wage.
“It’s a fight for independence, for dignity and for justice for our families and our communities,” Becca Gutman of the healthcare workers’ union said.
Even though the Massachusetts Legislature has already approved a minimum wage increase from $8.00 per hour to $11.00 per hour by 2017, low-wage workers argue that it’s still not enough to survive.
“I have to choose between rent or buying my son sneakers for school. It boils down to whether or not I’m going to pay my daughter’s daycare payments or pay the gas this month,” personal care attendant Frankie Cook said.
Nearly 7,000,000 low-wage workers have seen their pay go up since the movement began two years ago.
In addition to a $15-dollar minimum wage, fast food workers are also pushing for the right to form a union without the fear of retaliation.