60 million Americans work for less than $15 an hour, and now many of them are pushing back. Fast-food workers are striking across the country in an effort to persuade employers to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour.
There are 270 demonstrations planned nationwide, according to CBS News. In New York, a $15 minimum wage has already been approved and will be slowly phased in over the next six years across the state. But workers everywhere need more, and now they are making sure corporations hear them.
"Is this the America we believe in? When someone works all day long and they still can't get by?" New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio asked at a rally in Brooklyn. "Does anyone believe that it's easy to get by in New York City on less than $15 an hour?"
Many economic experts are divided on the outcome of such an increase. Opponents of the increase say that it will eliminate jobs and reduce already scarce employment opportunities. De Blasio responded to that criticism harshly.
"It actually improves the economy, it strengthens the economy, increases employment," de Blasio said. "Why? Because you need money in the economy for it to be strong."
Major protests took place Tuesday morning in Brooklyn, Boston and Philadelphia. USA Today reported that nearly 700 other cities will see similar walkout protests. A key feature of the new protests it that those involved are specifically going after politicians with the authority to enforce change, protesting near city halls and government buildings all over the country.
"It's not just the financial piece," Khelia Cox, a baggage handler at Boston's Logan Airport and a mother of seven, told USA Today. "It's also about the dignity."
Cover image via Getty Images / Spencer Platt.