, , , , , , ,

Madison Ralliers Resume Call For $15 Minimum Wage

Wisconsin Fast-Food Workers Turn Out Tuesday As Part Of National Day Of Protest

Gilman Halsted/WPR

Fast-food workers and their supporters in Madison protested outside a McDonald’s on the city’s south side Tuesday afternoon. Thousands were expected at similar rallies in more than 200 cities across the country calling for a $15 minimum wage.

Rally organizers said the national protest was timed to grab the attention of presidential candidates one year before election day in November 2016.

Ebony McCarty, a single mother of three, said she was working two part time jobs until she was laid off from a Madison Arby’s restaurant where she was making $8 an hour.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“Eight dollars, that’s not enough. We need $15, that could help us,” said McCarty. “They raising the rent, they raising the food at the restaurants and everything else but why can’t they raise the pay? We need it, there are people out here hurting.

A bill introduced in April by Madison Democratic state Rep. Melissa Sargent would raise Wisconsin’s minimum wage to $15 incrementally over six years. But it hasn’t been scheduled for a hearing. Opponents say the hike in pay would force employers to lay off workers.

At the rally Tuesday, Sargent told protesters a higher minimum wage is possible if enough supporters turn out to vote in next year’s election.

“Make sure that you’re voting for people who are going to be standing by you,” she said. “Not people who are going to be putting their hands out for corporate donations.”