Fast food workers protest, say they want to be paid $15 an hour

Fast food workers protest, say they want to be paid $15 an hour

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Workers protest outside a Popeyes restaurant on Eight Mile in Detroit. Workers protest outside a Popeyes restaurant on Eight Mile in Detroit.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Dozens of workers are playing a game of chicken with the owners of Popeyes over their jobs.  They walked out of a location on Eight Mile in Detroit on Friday with support from U.S. Congressman John Conyers.  A coalition of groups calling themselves D15 helped organize a protest there and others at McDonald's, Burger King, Domino's and other top chains to demand $15 an hour instead of $7.40.

"My check [is usually] $390 something every two weeks," said Shavontae Jackson.

The 22-year-old cashier and a single mom explained she can barely make ends meet.

Across metro Detroit, 53,000 people work in the fast food industry, a business that generates billions every year and is projected to grow by 12 percent over the next five years.

"They need to stop treating the fast food workers like... only college students... only high school students.  That's a myth," said Pastor W.J. Rideout III.

Detroit is the fourth city to host fast food strikes in recent weeks.  Other protests have taken place in New York City, Chicago and St. Louis.

On Belle Isle, a rally was held for striking workers, who work at some of the lowest paying jobs in the country.  They hope their effort will give the corporations some food for thought.

"If we grow the worker, we grow the economy.  If we grow the economy, we grow the workforce and everybody wins," said Rev. Charles Williams II from the National Action Network.

The workers say they plan to go back to work over the weekend unsure if whether they will be disciplined or fired for walking out.

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