Workers Gather, Call on Lewis Reed and Board of Alderman to Hold Resumed Session, Pass Minimum Wage Increase
March From McDonald’s to City Hall Symbolize Movement to Raise Wages’ Progress in Missouri
St. Louis, MO- Low wage workers in the health care and fast food industries gathered at a McDonald’s near city hall to call on President Reed and the rest of the Board of Alderman to have a resumed session and pass a bill to raise minimum wage. Holding signs that read “Fast Food stands with Health Care” and “We All Need a raise,” the workers marched several blocks to City Hall, where they continued their rally.
“I’m here today, speaking on behalf of all health care workers. Our work is challenging and requires a lot of patience. At times, this work can even be dangerous. This is why we all need to be paid a livable wage,” said nursing home employee Paula Simpson. “For 19 years I’ve seen employees struggle with payday loans, bill collectors and rent payment. That shouldn’t be an issue when you do what we do.”
A bill to raise minimum wage has been voted out of committee, but needs to be passed into perfection and brought to a final vote. President Reed, who has supported raising the minimum wage, has yet to call a resumed session to make this happen.
“We need to raise the wage not just for fast food workers, but for all workers in St. Louis, because we are all struggling,” said Jeanina Jenkins, a Chipotle employee with Show Me 15. “We want 15, we want union rights, but we also support raising the minimum wage. We don’t want anyone to be left out of this because all work deserves a decent pay.”
Workers spoke out on the difficulty of living on low wages, as well as their frustration with the process of raising minimum wage.
“It’s because of the risks we’ve taken that minimum wage is a being discussed. But the time for playing politics is over,” said Mike Cogshell, who works at Sonic in St. Louis. “If the alderman support us, then they should take action. We’ll keep fighting no matter what, but we are disappointed they haven’t done anything.”