Labor Day Shines Light on Challenges, Courage of Low-Wage Workers

Aug 30, 2013

By Liz Ben-Ishai

Shaniqua, a 20-year-old mother, works for McDonald’s in New York City, where she can rarely get 40 hours a week. She struggles to afford food, diapers, and other basics. Nick, a McDonald’s worker in Indianapolis, survives on $800 per month while caring for his chronically ill mother and disabled brother. Medical bills from a recent sinus infection cost him nearly a month’s wages.

Dearius, an assistant manager at a Memphis Church’s Chicken, says fast food workers are tired of struggling to provide for their kids. And Shonda, a 38-year-old mother of three who works at a KFC in Oakland, says she and other strikers “just want to be able to make enough money to provide the basic necessities of life: food, rent, clothing for my children.”

Hearing how hard work isn’t paying off for these men and women is troubling—especially on Labor Day.  But they aren’t taking it lying down. Today, we’re tipping our hats to the courage and strength of thousands of low-wage fast food workers like Shaniqua, Nick, Dearius, and Shonda, who are taking to the streets to demand fair pay and working conditions.  CLASP stands united with these workers, fighting every day for policy solutions that reverse America’s arc toward inequity.


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