Fight for $15: Memphis fast-food workers push for minimum wage increase

Going beyond the Fight for $15

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Fast-food workers across the U.S. are calling for the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour.

A part of President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package calls on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.

Friday, fast-food workers across the country made a similar call to action by staging a strike.

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“These corporations -- they have the money to pay us,” said Ashley Cathey, an employee at Dixie Queen in Memphis.

Cathey participated in the strike organized by Fight for $15.

“Martin Luther King and other forefathers fought this same fight 50-something years ago, and we have to come back in time and fight this same fight,” said Cathey. “History just repeating itself. We really want to change that. I’m hoping that the campaign helped a lot of people change and wake up to what’s really going on.”

Karesha Manns, a Mcdonald’s employee who earns $10 an hour, also participated in the strike.

“Most of my money goes towards my bills. I can’t do nothing with my check. So, it’ll make a big, big difference,” said Manns.

“I won’t have to be trying to figure out if I want to eat that day or, like she said, put gas in my car,” said Manns.

They are pleased to see that Biden is pushing for a higher minimum wage. It would be the first minimum wage increase in over 10 years.

But, both women say their mission does not end with a wage increase. They also want to form a union that can represent their interests and improve their working conditions.

“What I hope to see is these corporations find in their heart that their workers are worth more,” said Cathey. “Because if you don’t have any workers you can’t run your business.”

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