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Fast-food workers march from SeaTac to Seattle to push for higher pay

SEATTLE —  On a frigid morning, the marchers gathered in SeaTac, where voters already approved raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The demonstrators want the same thing in Seattle, so they hit the road for the 14-mile march into the city Thursday. They also protested inside a Wendy’s in Seattle’s Central District.

“I’m out here for me, my family, my children,” said Crystal Thompson, who works at Domino’s for $9.19 an hour.

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Demonstrators marching for a higher hourly wage gather in a Wendy’s in Seattle’s Central District Thursday.

 Thompson said she can barely get by on her pay, and that $15 an hour would change her family’s life.

 “It would pay the bills, buy us some clothes, and buy us food,” said Thompson.

 Another fast-food worker, Karl Bologh, joined the march. Balogh, said he works nearly 70 hours a week at Arby’s and McDonald’s, and earns just enough to get by.

After the yes vote on the wage initiative in the city of SeaTac, Bolog, and the other demonstrators believe their cause has momentum.

Opponents of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour insist Seattle businesses simply can’t afford it.

But the protesters aren’t buying it and they took their fight to the streets, for more then six hours on the long march to Seattle.

9 comments

  • The World is Ending

    If you think owning a business makes you rich then do what other business owners did borrow the money and risk everything you own and ever hope to own and start your own business…. Oh wait I'm sorry that would involve working day and night for nothing for several years while you get your business up and running and none of you are up for that you just want it to be given to you.

  • esco

    If I owned a fast food restaurant location I'd fire everyone and close before I paid that much.
    I'd have to close before I was broke. These folks are delusional with what they think they're worth.

  • cwl

    The unions are pushing this because they will get more. They sure did a great job in Detroit. I agree fully with esco, j, and the world is ending

  • adam

    If these people really think 15 a hour will solve their problems they’re stupid. All it will do is cause business to close, higher prices on many different goods, and the few that do stay open and competitive will have to lay off employees to make it so they can stay open. Atleast the plus side is the business will probably lay off the ones protesting because they’re the lazy ones anyways. Before anyone comments yes I make 13 a hour but I’ve worked at my job for 7 years and I do the best job I can while I’m there.

    • Slam1263

      If I could afford an employee, I would pay them the $15. But then again, I don't have a burger joint.

      I could really use a graphic designer/machine operator, and they are worth $25 to $30 an hour.

      Right now, I can't afford the $14.75 an hour L&I, nor decent insurance, as that is gone up so high, I can't afford it myself.

      Really, I am at the point where I can no longer justify being in business anymore. I do custom promotional work, and no one can afford it anymore.

      Look around, how many vacant storefronts are you seeing? How many people do you know that are sticking with crappy job, because they, and you, probably know plenty of folks who are out of work, or have had their hours cut back.

      I am lucky to have a shop I own, if I had to even pay rent, I would save money by closing. It is just a way to keep busy, while I am semi-retired.

      My empathy is with the younger people, who may not have any resources.

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