Fast food workers in Nashville demand higher pay - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Fast food workers in Nashville demand higher pay

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Fast food workers across the nation walked off the job Thursday while demanding higher wages. The workers, including dozens of protestors in Nashville, want their pay increased to $15 an hour.

"A $5.5 billion corporation, the CEO makes $38,000 everyday, but all we get is $7.25 an hour. I am sorry, but I just don't think that's right," said Phillis Pounds, a McDonalds employee.

About 50 fast food workers gathered in front of the McDonalds restaurant on West End Avenue with signs and bullhorns Thursday morning. They walked off their jobs not only in Nashville, but in 100 cities across the country, calling for a boost in their pay.

"I think if you are a hard worker and you come in and you are dedicated, and you do your job to the fullest, like I do and all of these people that are out here, I think $15 is very justifiable. It doesn't matter where you work. It can be a bank, McDonalds, Walmart. It doesn't matter," Pounds said.

The group gathered research to back their demand. According to an MIT professor's model, a full-time working adult in Nashville with one child needs to make more than $21 an hour to afford basic necessities.

And a recent report from the University of California-Berkley found public assistance for fast food workers cost taxpayers $7 billion a year.

"$15 an hour for what they are doing is a little much. There's people who have gone to school, paying loans, doing technical jobs making less," said musician Clyde Faust.

The strike drew attention from some lawmakers, and President Barack Obama on Wednesday called for a raise in the minimum wage. Still, those may just be the first steps in a longer process.

"Not only do I work, I've got to get assistance from the government. I have to get stamps from the government, help from the government because otherwise I don't know how I would be able to support my kids," Pounds said.

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