Fast food and airport workers marched on City Hall on Thursday morning, joining minimum wage workers across the country who want $15 an hour and a right to unionize.
Around 11 a.m., they marched into a McDonald’s on Chambers Street and Greenwich Avenue, then headed east while a marching band played and 32 BJ members sounded vuvuzelas.
In September, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order that requires companies that receive more than $1 million in city subsidies to pay workers $13.13 per hour livable wage executive order that requires. The city expects the livable wage to increase to $15.22 per hour by 2019.
It’s been a year since President Obama called on Congress to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10, and signed an order that requires federal contractors to pay workers that rate.
“Every week I gotta borrow money, but that’s how it goes for me. You can’t have a car, you cannot have your own apartment working at McDonald’s. I live with my mother, we go half and half ... I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this, especially when I’m getting burned (in the kitchen.) I can’t believe I just got burned for $8 an hour. It just sucks. My life sucks right now."
Kevin Durand, 18
Hourly wage: $8
“In the last two years, New York went from $7.25 to $8, which is not enough but it shows that if people stick together, we can make changes. My biggest struggle is basically trying to keep up with rent, different bills, transportation, because everything is going up but my wage.”
Naquasia LeGrand, 23
Hourly wage: $8, 15-20 hours week, $130-180
“$10 cannot support myself, I have six kids, and I’m a single father. If I got at least $18 an hour I could support my kids. I’m happy that my parents are alive because they’re the ones helping me out."
Santiago Walbert, 34
Works: Security officer at LaGuardia Airport
Hourly wage: $10
“If you’re living in New York City, one of the most expensive cities in the world, and working 40 hours, you supposed to be able to take care of your family and pay your bills. $15 would put me in a position where I’m able to pay all my bills, pay my rent on time, send my kids to good schools, college. I don’t take my family no where, we have to live on government assistance."
Alvin Major, 49
Hourly wage: $8