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6:21 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Fast-Food Workers Gather To Protest Minimum Wage In South Florida

Fast-food workers hold up signs emblazoned with messages like "Better Pay for a Stronger Miami" to raise awareness for minimum wage increase.
Credit Selima Hussain

Late in the morning on Thursday, about 50 people gathered at Jackson Memorial Hospital to protest South Florida’s minimum wage of $7.93. The group marched through a steady drizzle of rain to a nearby Wendy's.

“We can’t support our families with what we’re making,” said Rebecca Ray, who works at the Wendy’s. “So we’re doing something about it.”

The protest, which was organized by several labor advocacy groups, was not the first of its kind. The group has hosted a couple of similar protests over the past year, but today's protest was part of an effort that extended beyond the Sunshine State. 

At the event in Miami, there were almost as many people from the press as there were protestors. In Chicago, there were a couple hundred protestors. But Santiago Leon, a community activist, said the small crowd that gathered around the hospital was all there was for Miami. 

"It's like a fire that bursts into flame every once in a while, and then in between those bursts into flames, what you have is kind of embers," said Leon,"and so we're part of the embers here."

Protesters are hoping their efforts will increase minimum wage to $15 an hour, but a bill that would have increased it to $10.10 died during this year's legislative session.