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Local fast-food workers protest for better wages

Reported by: Trevor Thompson
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Updated: 12/05/2013 12:48 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- Dozens of fast-food workers convened this morning at a McDonald’s near Sahara and Paradise, asking for their wages to be supersized -- an increase from $8.25 an hour, minimum wage in Nevada, to $15 an hour.

“The economy has been pretty down and out for quite a long time,” said one picketer. “It's been six years. I've been trying to get back on my feet. You can't do it on a minimum wage.”

Protesters cited a recent study by Cal Berkley and the University of Illinois as one reason they're protesting. That study found that because so many fast-food workers don't make enough money to survive, they have to rely on public assistance. The study found that public assistance runs tax payers about $7 billion annually.

“A lot of them are not even getting full time wage because these corporations don't want to pay their health care. So they're relying on Medicaid, they're relying on food stamps,” said Annette Magnus, executive director for ProgressNow Nevada. “And essentially, this is corporate welfare. We're paying for McDonald’s to pay their workers, and that is unfair.

“You know, if fast-food corporations won't pay their workers, why should the taxpayers do that? Especially when we give fast-food corporations tax breaks and tax cuts.”

At one point, protesters tried to storm the McDonald’s building, only to be turned away. One protester dressed up as the Hamburglar as a symbol of fast-food companies stealing from workers, protesters said.

In the end, though, the workers say they feel as if they're the ones unfairly taking from taxpayers.


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