Fast food workers urge McDonald's to raise minimum wage for all employees

“Hold your burgers, hold your fries, make our wages super-sized!” Atlanta protesters chanted outside of the McDonald’s just north of MARTA's Five Points station.

About 30 labor protesters last Thursday gathered Downtown near the intersection of Broad and Marietta streets to hoist signs, share anecdotes about their jobs, and call for wage increases not only for McDonald’s workers but for all workers scraping by on low wages.

The demonstration came one day after McDonald’s announced a wage increase of at least $1 above local minimum wages at some of its stores. According to the New York Times, the company's decision would affect roughly 90,000 employees at 1,500 corporate-owned restaurants. But wages for 750,000 employees at approximately 3,1000 franchise-owned restaurants would remain unchanged.

Among the protesters at Thursday's rally was Anthony Fambrough, a 25-year-old McDonald's employee who has worked at two different locations over the past three years. At the rally, he said that he initially received assurances of working 40 hours per week, making $8.50 per hour at one location, given his past experience. But for the past month, Fambrough has only clocked an average of 10 hours per week with his wages remaining at $7.50 per hour.

“I know everything about the business and they still won’t give me a raise," Fambrough said. "I was a shift leader for like three months. They demoted me because I kept asking for more pay."

Fambrough said the low wages and lack of scheduled hours have meant that he can't pay his rent on time, keep his cell phone continuously connected, or afford to regularly keep a full tank of gas in his car.

“I can’t do nothin’ with $200 every two weeks, nothin’ at all,” he said.

Some of the protesters were members of ATL Raise Up, the local chapter of a global movement called Fight for $15. The organization is composed of thousands of fast-food workers fighting for wages to be increased to $15 and the right to unionize without consequences.

According to rally organizers, Atlanta protesters on April 15 will take part in a series of Fight for $15 nationwide strikes being held in 200 cities in hopes of bring about those changes.

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