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News

Orlando fast-food workers fight for $15

Protesters say studies show that $15 an hour is the minimum amount needed to make ends meet

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You know who wasn’t all that supportive, though? The manager on duty at the I-Drive McDonald’s that day. Porta says that before the protests started, one of the managers came out of the building with two maintenance workers and “they started pulling up every sprinkler head, redirecting them so they sprayed at us on the sidewalk.”

McDonald’s corporate, which has expressed concern in corporate documents about the effect the recent focus on wages could have on the company, wasn’t even that harsh. The company’s statement about the Fight for 15 was just this side of supportive of the workers participating in the events taking place outside fast-food restaurants all around the nation. Their milquetoast response (see above) acknowledged the contributions employees make to McDonald’s restaurants every day and promised not to kick anyone to the curb who decided to participate. Of course, it’s easy for McDonald’s PR folks to make that statement. They aren’t the ones making the decisions about who gets to keep their jobs – that’s up to the franchise owners, not the corporate office. Anyone who’s ever worked at a McDonald’s knows that the motto of many franchise owners is “If there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean,” so we can only imagine how incensed they must have been when some of their employees took the time off to picket.

Porta says that Organize Now escorted the participants back to their jobs to make sure they were allowed back to work, but she says that when workers decide to stand up for themselves openly, the hammer doesn’t usually fall right away. “It usually happens weeks later,” she says.

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