Fast food workers walk off the job to protest their low wages
POSTED: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 9:11am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — For the third time since last spring, fast food workers across the country are walking off the job today.
Organizers claim 100 cities will see the push for higher wages.
Fast food workers contracted by the federal government say President Obama can do something about this now - without waiting for Congress to raise the minimum wage.
Today's demonstration begins with McDonald's employees who work inside the Smithsonian.
Like protesters around the country, they're pushing for a $15 minimum wage. "It's a struggle. With $7.25 I can barely afford light bills or rent, decent shoes for my kids," said one worker.
"These workers live in complete poverty. They work for the richest corporations in the country. This is a $200 billion dollar industry," said Kendall Fells, the Organizer of Fast Food Forward.
But the National Restaurant Association says a 15 dollar minimum wage could put many of these people out of work. "The skill level that is required at 15 dollars an hour would be very different than the experience level that you have with most of the entry level workers who are making minimum wage right now," said Scott DeFife of the National Restaurant Association.
President Obama wants to push the current minimum wage up to ten dollars an hour. "Fast-food workers, and nurse assistants, and retail salespeople who work their tails off and are still living at or barely above poverty," said the President.
Today's protesters will ask the President to sign an executive order guaranteeing a living wage for federally-contracted workers.
Several states are already taking action. Five recently tried to raise their minimum wage. Four more may vote on it next year.