SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) - The fight for a wage of $15 an hour and for union rights for fast food workers continued Tuesday morning. Workers across the nation walked away from drive-thru lines and took to the streets in protest.
Here in metro Detroit, several gathered in front of Southfield City Hall in hopes of getting officials to listen up during this election season.
"When we cry out for elected officials to stand with us, here you have the city of Southfield's mayor, Mayor Siver, standing with us saying, 'You all deserve $15 an hour and a union,' and this is why we're here today," says Pastor W.J. Rideout, who helped organize the protest. "We're going all over to let elected officials know that if you do not stand with the 54,000 workers, that we're not going to stand with you at the polls."
If they wanted elected officials to hear them, they got their point across. Mayor-Elect of Southfield joined them on the front stoop of City Hall to show support.
"You can't live on the current minimum wage. How can you support a family? I was a longtime school administrator and I had parents who were working two jobs. It impacts the whole family just to make ends meet," Siver says.
Minimum wage in Michigan is increasing in phases after lawmakers agreed to boost it. Right now, it's at $8.15 an hour and by 2018 that will rise to $9.25 an hour. These workers want $15 an hour and union rights.
"We can't live off minimum wage. It's just not possible," says fast food worker Tashara Carter . "A day at my job is me doing everything from running the drive-thru to washing dishes to prepping food, so it's just a lot of work for one person to do, and I work the night shift."
The protests started before the sun came up at the McDonalds at Greenfield and Plymouth in Detroit. The 80 workers were as fired up as they were soaked, but the rain didn't wash away their message.
Workers say they will return to work after today's protests, and if anyone is fired, they tell FOX 2's Roop Raj lawsuits will be pending.