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Phoenix Protesters Demand Higher Fast Food Wages
Protesters in Phoenix Thursday joined groups in dozens of other cities calling for higher fast food wages.
Many demonstrators showed up, but the turnout of fast food workers was much lower.
A mariachi band played and dozens chanted outside a central Phoenix McDonald’s. The group held signs demanding a wage of $15 an hour and urged motorists to honk in support.
But this was not a group of fast food employees. They were protestors and activists.
Edward Celaya was the only fast food worker there. He has been at Del Taco five years. Celaya makes $7.80 an hour.
“We struggle, from paycheck to paycheck,” Celaya said. “I can’t afford beds for my daughters. I can’t afford a bed for myself. I’m always behind on rent.”
This was the first such demonstration in Phoenix, but walkouts by fast food workers have taken place across the country for months.
It is covered extensively by media, but a National Restaurant Association spokeswoman said this movement could backfire. She said higher wages could lead to less jobs and more automation. For most employees, she added, fast food is a training ground, not a career.