Lena Germany, 23, of Pittsburgh, Pa., says she had to give her son up for adoption because she couldn’t afford a heart transplant that he needed to survive.She was a McDonald’s employee, and at the time her son was having medical issues but what she was earning and the benefits she was receiving weren’t enough to help him.
“We deserve better,” Germany said.
Germany and her boyfriend Teddy Wilson, 28, came to join the “fight for 15” protest held May 25 and 26 at McDonald’s corporate campus in Oak Brook.
The first day of protests were met with severe thunderstorms, but still hundreds of demonstrators chanted and marched, calling for an increase to the minimum wage of quick service restaurant employees to $15 an hour. Some even camped overnight.
At 6 a.m. May 26, protesters started to pour out of more than 25 charter buses and onto the street once again. Police on foot, in bikes and in patrol cars lined Jorie Boulevard, from Kensington and Forest Gate roads.The weather was kinder than the previous day, but it remained cloudy and slightly humid.People from all backgrounds, of all ages, and from different cities and towns throughout the country gathered to fight against what they say are “poverty wages.”
For Chris Ellis, 27, of Pittsburgh, Pa., taking care of four children while working minimum wage jobs at Dunkin Donuts, Jimmy Johns and McDonald’s has not been easy.”It’s hard making $7.70, payday is judgment day,” Ellis said. “Fifteen dollars is not a lot, no one is going to get rich, we just want to get out of poverty.”Wages are at the forefront of the protest, but the anger and frustration toward McDonald’s and other corporations stems from how they treat their employees.
Read more about the protests at My Suburban Life.