Fast-food wage protests continue in Michigan

Sep 4, 2014

People swinging through fast-food drive-thrus on their way to work this morning in Lansing and Detroit had to pass by groups of picketers.

A small group of picketers marches in front of a McDonald's in Lansing. They want fast-food workers to be paid $15 an hour.
A small group of picketers marches in front of a McDonald's in Lansing. They want fast-food workers to be paid $15 an hour.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“What do we want … 15… When do we want it …NOW,” chanted a small group of protesters who walked and waved signs in front of the McDonald's on Martin Luther King Boulevard in south Lansing.  

The union-backed protest wants fast-food outlets to increase pay to $15 an hour.

Nikiya Smith has worked at the McDonald's for two years. She says the recent increase in the state minimum wage to $8.15 an hour just isn’t enough.

“I can’t deny the fact that yes, I do notice any little bit of change,” says Smith. “But at the same time, I still don’t feel like it’s enough. It’s just not enough.”

The Lansing protest was quiet. But in Detroit, and Flint, some protesters were arrested.

Several protesters were detained by police during a picket in Detroit.
Several protesters were detained by police during a picket in Detroit.
Credit McConnell Communications

A spokesman for the National Restaurant Association dismisses the protests as being orchestrated by labor groups hoping to boost their dwindling membership by targeting restaurant employees.