HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the U.S., but fast food workers say they want to get paid nearly twice what they get now, so they are striking.
"They work around food, but they still go home hungry," said Rev. A.J. Johnson, strike supporter.
And they're ordering up some change. Fast food workers came out from behind the grill to picket Thursday morning in 50-plus cities, including Hartford, saying something's got to give.
"They don't know what it's like to be a worker and to struggle, and to have a family at home, and little kids," said Madeline Sanchez, Dunkin Donuts worker. "I have two infants."
A hot serving of anger as they demand minimum pay of $15 per hour and the right to unionize without interference. It's an industry in which organized worker action has been a challenge, historically, but apparently no more.
"I've seen it on Facebook, I've seen it on Twitter, you know, the coverage on the media, and just, you know, talking to other folks about it, like, 'Hey yeah, we heard about that, too,'" said Kevin Burgos, Dunkin Donuts worker.
The workers News 8 talked to are realistic, they say that they realize that jumping to $15 an hour would nearly double what they make on minimum wage in Connecticut, but they're also mixing optimism with their realism.
"I think if we can get that, that would be great, you know," said Sanchez. "Nobody would ever have to worry, but even $2 an hour extra is something, you know, and I feel like they can afford to do that."
"We're not blaming the franchise owners, but the parent companies are making over $2 billion, $3 billion in profits a year, so they can spread some of that love around, so I feel confident," said Johnson.
The rallies didn't seem to stop patrons from getting their morning fix, but the workers say they can be patient if their order doesn't come quickly.
"I know it's not something that's going to happen overnight," Burgos said. "It's going to take time and it's going to take probably more strikes to go on, but I'm pretty confident about it."
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