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Push for a higher minimum wage prompts multiple protests around Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE -- Workers around the country rallied on Thursday, April 14th for a higher minimum wage -- including in Milwaukee. Workers fighting for $15 an hour staged multiple protests in and around the city.

Hot on the heels of recent victories in California and New York, where the minimum wage was increased to $15, fast food, home care and nursing home workers joined together in Milwaukee on Thursday to call for a higher minimum wage here.

Fight for $15

Fight for $15

"These folks are working 40 hours a week, making minimum wage, and can't afford to take care of themselves; can't afford to take care of their families. They're eligible for public assistance, eligible for food stamps, and it's just not fair -- it's just not right," said Martha De La Rosa, executive director of Wisconsin Jobs Now.

Wisconsin's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Fight for $15

Fight for $15

"You're making $7.25, 10 hours a week, 15 hours a week. That's not enough to even pay a phone bill," said Devonte Yates, a fast food worker.

The workers said if you show up and do your job well, you ought to be able to live on what you earn.

Fight for $15

Fight for $15

"How can someone be able to work full-time, 40-plus hours a week, multiple number of minimum wage jobs, and not be able to take care of themselves and their family?" De La Rosa said.

In the case of home care workers like CNAs, many earn more than the state's minimum wage. Data from the State Department of Workforce Development website puts the mean wage at just shy of $13 an hour. But for the importance of the work they do, some said they too should be making at least $15 an hour.

Fight for $15

Fight for $15

"This doesn't bring them up to solidly middle class citizens. This tries to lift people out of poverty -- and we have to start somewhere," said Dian Palmer, president of SEIU Healthcare WI.

Supporters of the "Fight for $15" movement were set to march from the Washington Park Senior Center to the McDonald's restaurant at 35th and Juneau on Thursday evening.

At the McDonald's restaurant, a "moment of silence" was set to take place to honor Will Lewis, a "Fight for $15" leader who worked at the store. "Fight for $15" leaders said Lewis was killed in a robbery four days after the May 14th, 2014 fast food strike.



    Get an education, a trade, then work your way up to 15.00, that’s how it works.

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  • Chaos78

    I work as a manager, I started at minimum wage and worked my way up the ladder. I was in the trades and made a good living until I got hurt and couldn’t continue working. I believe minimum wage should be increased, just not to $15 an hour. As soon as minimum wage reaches $15 and hour a gallon of milk will raise to $5 a gallon, these people don’t think! Look at what happened to Seattle, those McDonald’s workers got their $15 an hour and now the whole front end is run by robots. A basic grasp of economics should tell these people that much.

  • Bob

    It’s called education go to school and you’ll deserve more pay. Fast food work was never meant to be a career, it’s a stepping stone. You get trained for a job for a few months while other people go to school for four years and make just the same. Make sense?

  • liliorchid

    I have a degree in a trade field and it’s hard for me to get $15/hr. This is just insulting to the people who have worked hard and furthered themselves with schooling or training. That bs that they expect to get that for not even trying to advance themselves. Maybe they can’t take care of themselves becuz they don’t want to cut their expenses down to bare minimum. I don’t have cable, i have minimum internet, i have a prepaid phone and a used car. What about waitresses who are only making 2.33 per hour? I do agree those who are in the healthcare field such as home aids or cna’s should make more than minimum wage. But not fast food.

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    “The same government that bribes the rich with bailouts and the middle class with tax cuts now bribes the poor with minimum wages.”
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  • DigitalHermit

    Why not raise the minimum wage to $100/hr so that management has further incentives to install robots and replace all the low-skilled jobs? The real minimum wage is and always will be $0 (unemployment).

  • PatP

    I am for anyone making more money
    Minimum wage jobs are entry level jobs.
    Why would anyone finish HS if they could go work at McDonalds and make enough to raise a family?

    Say good bye to a bunch of those jobs if they get their way.

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