KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Fifteen dollars an hour. That’s how much some fast food and retail workers say they deserve to make an hour. On Monday protests will happen in seven U.S. cities including Kansas City to push for the change.
The workers planning to protest say they want economic dignity. They say that means livable wages, benefits and humane working conditions. They say they can’t live or support their families on what they’re making.
Rallies are planned in Kansas City as well as New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington D.C. and other cities.
Some workers say they plan to walk off the job in a one-day strike. Famed civil rights leader Reverend CT Vivian will lead Monday night’s events. Vivian worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and has provided civil rights counsel to several presidents including presidents Reagan, Clinton and Obama.
Industry representatives say they can’t afford to pay employees more. They say most fast food restaurants operate on a meager profit margin making it impossible to increase wages.
Most fast food and retail workers make minimum wage. In Kansas that’s 7.25. In Missouri it’s 7.35. So 15 dollars would be more than double their current pay.
Monday’s rally starts at 6:30 at the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City Missouri.