Boston fast food workers strike for $15 minimum wage

BOSTON (AP/WHDH) — Cooks and cashiers from McDonald’s, Burger King and other restaurants walked off the job on Labor Day to call for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

The protesters are also pushing for union rights for fast food workers and for a paid medical leave bill currently before Massachusetts lawmakers.

“It’s hard living on $11 an hour, trying to support your kids and trying to make a good future for them,” said Barbara Fisher, who works at Dunkin Donuts. Fisher often works late shifts and said she does not see them as much as she wants.

“I feel sad because I miss my kids and I don’t have a chance to see them because I’m trying to make ends meet for them to have a better future,” said Fisher.

The Labor Day protest began at the Tremont Street McDonald’s at 6 a.m. Monday and was followed by a march through Boston.

If lawmakers fail to act on the bills, the protesters are also backing two proposed ballot questions which would raise the minimum wage from $11 an hour to $15 an hour and guarantee workers have access to paid family and medical leave from their employers.

Critics said raising the minimum wage is bad for business. Those in favor said if the State House does not bring it up, they will work to get it on the ballot in 2018 and leave it up for a vote.

“We have workers that are struggling to actually live in the communities they work in and that’s not right,” said Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.). “That’s not going to give you the type of community, the type of society many communities in Massachusetts want.”

The protest was part of a nationwide demonstration.

(Copyright (c) 2017 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)