Protesters fight for higher minimum wage in Memphis

Protesters fight for higher minimum wage in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Protesters took to the streets of Memphis on Labor Day to fight for a higher minimum wage.

The group gathered at the intersection of Cleveland Street and Poplar Avenue in front of McDonald's protest, shouting that they want a minimum wage of $15 and a union.

The group later took to Taco Bell on Poplar Avenue before marching.

"Make our wages super sized," the protesters chanted.

It's part of a nationwide 'Fight for $15' as the United States celebrates Labor Day.

Fight for $15 was launched in 2012 and has helped to establish $15 per hour minimum wages in New York, California, Washington D.C., and Minneapolis.

"I've been in the fast food industry for over 30 years, and when I started working we was making $5.25. I only make $7.25 now. Just living from paycheck to paycheck trying to keep up," Dunetra Merritt said. "The reason that the union rights are so important is because if you get the raise they will not be able to take it back."

State Representative G.A. Hardaway said he supports the movement.

"I'm out here because my people are out here," Hardaway said. "It's all about honoring the union's labor--those that get up everyday and make life easier."

More than a hundred people were at the rally. Protesters said this is all part of getting closer to their goal.

"The word is starting to get out. It's not just a protest for the sake of protest," Hardaway said.

Despite others saying the higher wage is too high for the job positions they have, workers hold their stance that this is about survival.

People who oppose say raising minimum wage is risky, and could reduce job opportunities for workers with little to no skills.

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