Austinites join nation-wide 'Fight for $15' minimum wage protests

AUSTIN - About two dozen people gathered around a handful of fast food restaurants in East Austin Tuesday morning to urge lawmakers to raise the minimum wage as a part of a nation-wide effort called "Fight for $15."

Carrying signs and banners along Riverside Drive, the protesters marched between fast food restaurants in an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Rallies organized by the Fight for 15 group are planned in 340 cities across America Tuesday to "demand for dignified pay and work," the Workers Defense Project said in a statement.

"For too long working people have put in extra hours and have endured unsafe working conditions," Jose P. Garza said in the statement. "Workers Defense will continue to fight for all working people in the construction industry to have good, safe jobs.”

Workers Defense said the picketers will head to Houston after the protests along Riverside to strike with airport workers.

McDonald's released the following statement to KVUE's Cori Coffin in regard to the protests:

We offer McDonald's employees the opportunity to develop the valuable skills and work ethic necessary to build successful careers even beyond our restaurants. Last July, we raised wages for all employees at our company-owned restaurants to $1 dollar above the local minimum wage and gave them the ability to earn paid time off. And because so many are just starting out in their careers, we invest in Archways to Opportunity, a set of programs for everyone that provides free high school completion courses and college tuition assistance so they can work toward earning a high school diploma or a college degree.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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