Protests for Minimum Wage in Wausau

By: Clare Kaley Email
By: Clare Kaley Email
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About 2 dozen people marched outside the McDonald's on Forest Street and then the Burger King on 6th Street in Wausau Thursday, demanding higher wages.

What was interesting about those protesting was few were actually fast food workers. The workers said raising minimum wage to $15 an hour is not only fair, it is necessary.

"It takes $15 an hour to live here," said Lee's Famous Recipe worker and protester, Jessy West, "to pay your bills on time, pay your rent, even put a little money in savings."

Others say even ten or twelve dollars would be fair. Many of the people picketing Thursday represented the Wisconsin Jobs Now, a non-profit organization committed to fighting income inequality. Some represented themselves. The Vice President of Public Affairs for the Wisconsin Restaurant Association says, raising the minimum wage, will not be good for the state's economy.

"Wisconsin is still coming out of a recession," said Pete Hanson, "that really cost our state a lot of jobs and economic growth. The restaurant industry is actually an industry that is creating jobs, but that would change if the minimum wage were to double."

Hanson says most people do not realize national chains in our area, are run by small business owners.

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