KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Minimum wage workers were on strike in the metro and across the country on Labor Day. Workers walked off of jobs in more than 400 cities to rally for more money and union rights.
At Research Hospital, some workers walked out to fight for higher minimum wage for the first time. In addition to them, more than 200 local fast-food workers gathered for a rally and march.
"I have four children that I`m supporting, so I definitely have to rub pennies together to make ends meet," said Burger King employee Bridget Hughes.
Hughes has worked in the fast-food industry for 11 years and counting. She makes $9.50 per hour — almost two dollars more than Missouri`s minimum wage.
Still-- she says she struggles to support her family.
"It`s not even just about the wage. We need a union. A lot of us don`t get paid maternity leave, sick days, vacation. A lot of us aren`t even able to live our lives. Our lives are our jobs," Hughes said.
Fast-food workers are fighting for 15-bucks an hour and to be part of the 'service employees international union' -- a labor union that represents more than a million people.
and they`re finding support outside the industry.
"It`s really important that we understand in this country that if we`re going to be great again, we`ve got to take care of everybody. Not just a few. To be here is an inspirational thing. It`s a historic moment for the city to stand up with low-wage workers and help them form a union and to help them gain a better life," Deacon Mike Lewis, Catholic Deacon of Kansas City-St. Joseph, said.
But not everyone is on board. Some business owners oppose higher minimum wage because they believe it will negatively affect them financially. Still, fast-food workers and their supporters say something has to change.
"We have a majority of citizens who were on our side as well as faith allies and other prominent community leaders that are on our side, so eventually they`re going to have no choice but to give us what we want," Hughes said.
Right now the minimum wage in Kansas is $7.25 per hour -- and $7.70 in Missouri.