Baton Rouge protester stands up for fast food workers
POSTED: Friday, December 6, 2013 - 10:26am
UPDATED: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 3:52pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — It's been another day of protests around the country as fast food workers continue to fight for higher wages.
Here in Baton Rouge, the effort might have gone unnoticed because turnout was virtually non-existent, but i did find one man who was protesting, not for himself, but for others.
Daniel Liebeskind's a college student. Even though he's never worked in the fast food industry, he's taking a stand.
"Even though I'm not a minimum wage worker, I see the effect that minimum wage has on everyday people," Liebeskind said. "So, the first reason is because I have compassion, and I see that people who work these jobs are hardworking, and they're not lazy. Second reason, taxpayers subsidize minimum wage workers, and again, it's not because they're lazy. It's because they aren't paid enough to pay rent and to buy food."
Even though, Liebeskind's the only one protesting at the McDonald's by College Drive, over a thousand of other protesters around the country are doing the same. They want better wages and benefits for the employees.
"Realistically, it's a bargaining chip," Liebeskind said. "The average age of fast food employees is 29, and one quarter of fast food employees are also raising a family. These are sometimes the only jobs available for them to have."
On average, fast food workers get paid minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour right now. President Obama is pushing to have that raised to $10 an hour, but workers want $15 an hour, plus the right to unionize.
"People bus their butts, work extremely hard, don't earn enough money," Liebeskind said.
As for reaction from employers, they're not addressing what workers want, but McDonald's officials aren't ignoring it either. They released a statement saying in part
"We also respect the right to voice an opinion. To right-size the headlines, however, the events taking place are not strikes. Outside groups are traveling to McDonald's and other outlets to stage rallies. Our restaurants remain open today- and every day."