St. Louis fast-food workers are asking for $15 an hour instead of wages that hover closer to the minimum wage, which is $7.35 an hour in Missouri.
May 9, 2013

If the only jobs left are service jobs, then they have to pay enough for people to live on. In the aftermath of our economic reconstruction, where all the money goes to the people at the top, I find it heartening that so many people are organizing and demanding a living wage:

ST. LOUIS • Rasheen Aldridge and a couple of his coworkers did not report Wednesday for their 11 a.m. shift at the Jimmy John's in Soulard.

Instead, they stood outside carrying protest signs with a group of supporters while four community activists entered the shop and notified the manager that those workers were on strike.

Later in the day, a handful of McDonald's workers did the same at a location in Ferguson.

Rasheen Aldridge and a couple of his coworkers did not report Wednesday for their 11 a.m. shift at the Jimmy John's in Soulard.

As in those efforts in others cities, the St. Louis workers are asking for $15 an hour instead of wages that hover closer to the minimum wage, which is $7.35 an hour in Missouri.

“I realize I'm not the CEO of a fast-food company,” said Aldridge, 19, a student at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.

But he said the $8 an hour he makes at Jimmy John's is not proper compensation for his work. It's not enough, for example, to pay for repairs to his car, which he sometimes uses to deliver sandwiches.

While Aldridge granted that $15 an hour may be a lofty goal, he said it was a good starting point for negotiations.

Instead, they stood outside carrying protest signs with a group of supporters while four community activists entered the shop and notified the manager that those workers were on strike.

Later in the day, a handful of McDonald's workers did the same at a location in Ferguson.

These employees are being joined by dozens of more fast food workers Thursday across the St. Louis region in a push for higher wages, better working conditions, and the right to form a union without retaliation. A rally in Delmar Loop is planned for Thursday afternoon.

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