Detroit Police Arrest Dozens of Fast Food Protesters

Police in Detroit arrested dozens of demonstrators who took part in a nationwide fast food protest. Hundreds of workers from various fast food chains, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken planned and orchestrated a strike to bump their hourly wage up to $15 per hour. Protesters reportedly wore T-shirts that read “$15” and sat in the middle of a road. They refused to move when asked to do so by police, and the sum of all arrests was estimated between 20 and 40.

According to a Mashable report, many fast-food employees don’t make much more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage, which totals approximately $15,000 a year based on a 40-hour work week. When compared to the United States as a whole, according to, the median income for Americans in 2013 was $50,502.

The average American income last year was $69,821, but it’s considered a deceptive statistic, since earners in the top 12% disproportionately boost the national average (only 12.1% of the population earned $100,000 or more last year). Michigan’s fast-food workers saw a bump from $7.40 per hour to $8.15 per hour. Although that totals a difference in annual salary of less than $3,000, it’s a step in the right direction.

Industry officials, like national Restaurant Association Vice President Scott Defife, feel that the goals of the protesters aren’t realistic. In a New York Times report, he said, “It would have consequences on hiring patterns for Main Street businesses across the country.”

Nonetheless, the movement for higher wages has gained support from President Obama. Obama’s put higher minimum wages on his priority list, and he recently mentioned the movement in an address.

Obama said, “There’s a national movement going on made up of fast food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity. If I were busting my butt in the service industry and wanted an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, I’d join a union.”

Feature Image Via Flickr/Dan Harder

About Blaine Martin

I enjoy taking in the world around me and facing the challenge of conveying news and information that is clear, timely and professional. Please like and share our articles!

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