STL Can't Survive On $7.35

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

 About 100 fast food workers and their supporters braved sleet squalls Thursday morning to join a nationwide protest seeking a boost in the federal minimum wage.

"I'm reminded of what happened during the Civil Rights movement," Ronald Bobo, the pastor at Westside Missionary Baptist Church, told the crowd as they gathered outside the Jack in the Box at 4111 Lindell Blvd.  It wasn't the old people who made the difference. It was the young people. You can make a difference. Don't give up, don't give in, don't be intimidated."

(Erin Williams/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis leaders, advocates and fast-food workers met today at City Hall to discuss how low wages impact fast-food workers and taxpayers.

The hearing was organized by Jobs with Justice’s Workers’ Rights Board and featured testimony from workers about the realities of living with low wages. Several of them spoke about how, despite their work, they still rely on government programs to get by.

Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

Fast food workers and supporters held a press conference today in response to a recent report from the University of California-Berkeley.

The report stated that the low wages of fast-food workers cost the public $7 billion a year in public assistance.

Gathered in front of an area McDonald’s, employees took turns talking about their experiences struggling to raise families and covering medical costs on their salaries.

Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis fast food workers were on the streets today for a second round of protests to raise wages and form a union.

Supporters carried signs and chanted both in and outside of McDonald’s on South Broadway and encouraged employees to walk out and join them in the strike. Reverend Martin Rafanan says that fast food workers and participants are more prepared on this second go around.

Erin Williams

Fast food workers and community supporters passed out flyers at Jimmy John’s in Soulard today in the continuing fight for better wages and the right to unionize as part of the STL Can’t Survive on 7.35 campaign.

The flyers were passed out in the parking lot of the restaurant around Noon and called for better managerial treatment and higher wages.

Olivia Roffle is a college student who works at another fast food restaurant. She says that if Jimmy John’s wants better service, then they need to create a welcoming environment.

Erin Williams

Fast food workers and supporters donned ponchos and held signs today as they rallied for change in the Central West End as part of the STL Can’t Survive on $7.35 campaign.

Protesters marched between Arby’s, McDonald’s, and Domino’s Pizza as they seek a pay increase for employees to $15 an hour and the right to unionize without backlash.

One of the protesters was Kenta Jackson, a shift leader at Church’s Chicken who makes $8.50 an hour. She didn’t tell her manager she wouldn’t be at work, but isn’t worried about the repercussions.