Fast food workers to demonstrate in Phila., Wilmington for increased wages

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As part of a nationally coordinated series of demonstrations for higher pay, fast food workers demanding a raise to $15/hour will demonstrate Thursday in Wilmington and Philadelphia, as well as in an estimated 100 other cities.

Camille Collins, 33, a mother of two, has worked at McDonald’s in Wilmington for a year as a crew trainer and earns $7.70 an hour, while finishing her bachelor’s degree at Wilmington University. She said that due to having a criminal record, she was told by higher-ups that she won’t ever be eligible for a promotion at McDonald’s.

Collins will be participating in demonstrations for higher wages outside Wendy’s, Burger King and McDonald’s on the Concord Pike in Wilmington beginning around 9 a.m.

“I’m just hoping that McDonald’s corporation can take a real look at what’s going on. This is injustice. We need an affordable living wage,” Collins said.

Collins said that an ongoing McDonald’s giveaway offering free Xbox Ones as prizes to customers, promoted on Twitter as #WinatMcDs, is “a distraction.”

“I feel they’re running this one strategically at the same time as the national day of action to take away attention from this important issue,” she said.

Clara Hendrickson, leader of the UPenn chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops, is planning a solidarity action outside the McDonalds at 40th and Walnut streets in West Philadelphia at 8 p.m. Thursday. Twenty to 30 people will march to the McDonalds and picket there for higher wages.

“I feel there might be some general unawareness among customers who dine at these stores of the working conditions there,” Hendrickson said. “Workers aren’t earning a living wage.”

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