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Miami Fast Food Demonstrators Arrested Following Minimum Wage Protests

 
Miami Fast Food Demonstrators Arrested Following Minimum Wage Protests
Posted Thursday, September 4th 2014 @ 4pm

UPDATE 9/4 4:38pm

MIAMI (AP) _ Police have arrested at least six Miami area workers protesting the fast food industry's low wages.

The workers were arrested Thursday while sitting in the street during the second of two South Florida demonstrations.

The protests are part of a nationwide day of action targeting the fast food industry. Some 50 activists and workers gathered before dawn outside restaurants in Miami Gardens. Later, more than 100 people convened outside restaurants in North Miami Beach around noon.

The workers want $15 an hour and the right to form a union. Many big chains maintain these issues should be raised with the restaurant franchisees, not the corporations themselves. In a Labor Day speech Monday, the president spoke in support of fast-food workers, who kicked off their campaign in New York in 2012.

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Employees at McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's and other fast food restaurants will be walking off the job today in South Florida and across the country.  They're vowing to do whatever it takes to get a 15 dollar an hour minimum wage and the right to form unions.

South Florida clergy, elected officials and supporters are expected to join them on the picket lines.

18 year old Anthony Robertson will be joining in. He's worked at a Northwest Miami-Dade McDonalds for more than two years, and wants to start college. Money is even tighter because he's trying to help his unemployed mother. His two paychecks a month add up to less than one-thousand dollars.  He says the risk of getting fired to take part in today's walkout is worth it.   

The campaign started in New York in 2012 when several hundred fast food workers walked off their jobs, and the movement's spread to more than 150 U.S. cities.

Several U.S. cities have raised minumim wages and Seattle raised the city minumum to 15 dollars an hour.  13 states and 10 county and city governments have increased their minimum wages in the last 2 years.  

Seattle raised its minimum wage in June to $15 an hour by 2018.  So far that's the highest in the country, and more than twice $7.25 federal minimum wage. Connecticut, Maryland, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Vermont have set their minimum wage at $10.10 an hour. 

(Photo: 2014 New York McDonalds protest. Credit: Getty - Emmanuel Dunand)

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