Fast-food workers march on Labor Day for better wages
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
Appropriately timed on Labor Day, fast-food workers in Arkansas marched for better wages. Dozens of Fight For 15 Little Rock chapter members gathered at the McDonald’s on Broadway Avenue in downtown Little Rock.
"We work, we sweat, put 15 on our check,” the group chanted.
KATV spoke with a mother of six who said not making at least $15/hour is the hardest challenge for her family.
“I have six kids, between my rent, my bills and my kids it is not enough, my rent and my bills take up most of my money then I have to struggle to make sure that my kids are alright,” said Ramona Dokes from North Little Rock.
"There's workers like me, who try their very best and put their all into it and what we do...serving people...I feel like our hard work should be recognized,” said Fantacy Mason from Little Rock.
"What do we want? 15...When do we want it? Now,” was another chant these Arkansas workers, along with thousands in the nation, who marched on Labor Day.
Another issue for these workers, employers rarely offering affordable health insurance, and with current Medicaid cuts being proposed, they say it's going to be an even harder struggle.
"When the wages go up, taxes increase in the community, you get better education, you get better schools, provide better services for our children and they are our future so it's important that the whole community come together to fight for a living wage for all workers,” said Toney Orr, with the United Labor Unions.
Arkansas' current minimum wage is $8.50/hour, but it’s a minimum wage these workers say is impossible to live on.
A recent study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition states, a person would have to earn $15.62 an hour at 40 hours a week to afford an average 2-bedroom apartment in the Little Rock area.