By Joshua Albert
Today more than 150 protesters in Philadelphia joined part in a national day of action against fast food establishments to demand an increased minimum wage.
The actions, organized by various local labor rights groups including 15 Now and Fight For $15, rallied at the McDonalds at Broad and Girard streets. Following the rally was a march to the McDonalds at Broad and Arch streets, where 11 protesters were arrested, charged with obstructing a highway – a common summary citation for protests like today’s – and released thereafter.
Councilman Wilson Goode and State Senator Daylin Leach also joined the rally to show support.
A spokesperson for the McDonalds corporation, Christina Fonseca, released the following statement:
At McDonald’s we respect everyone’s rights to peacefully protest. The topic of minimum wage goes well beyond McDonald’s- it affects our country’s entire workforce…We believe that any minimum wage increase should be implemented over time so that the impact on owners of small and medium-sized businesses – like the ones who own and operate the majority of our restaurants – is manageable…
Fonseca concluded by stating that over 3,000 McDonald’s restaurants – or 90% – are franchises, and that wages are set “according to job level and local and federal laws.”
One man, during this morning’s initial rally at Broad and Girard, spoke passionately to assembled network television crews and the crowd:
The reason I’m out here is because I believe in a civil movement. And a civil movement goes together with a labor movement…just one thing to all the bosses and all the CEOs – why don’t y’all live on $7.25?