A participant in a series of ongoing fast-food worker demonstrations told Democracy Now host Amy Goodman on Friday that, rather than looking to make an extra buck, he and the other workers on strike simply have nothing left to lose.
“We’re already dying slowly in our day-to-day lives, so why not speak up and stand up and let the nation know that we’re suffering?” Terrance Wise said in an interview with Goodman. “This is really a cry for help. And this great nation shouldn’t turn their back on working-class people who need help.”
Wise, who works at Burger King and Taco Bell, told Goodman that he sometimes goes days at a time without seeing his fiancee or their three children on account of working 50 to 60 hours a week.
“It’s just a everyday hustle,” he said to Goodman. “I use public transportation every day, so I have to leave early to get to work. So I’m gone 15, 17 hours a day. It’s just really hard, a struggle every day.”
Wise has been taking part in demonstrations calling for fast-food chains to raise their wages to $15 an hour, which they say is a minimum living standard. The strikes, an outgrowth of the Fast Food Forward campaign in New York, have also taken place in Kansas City, Chicago and St. Louis, among other cities.
“In both of my shops, I look around — there aren’t high schoolers,” Wise told Goodman. “There are people with families, trying to raise families. And so the whole notion that this is for high schoolers or someone trying to buy their first car or college students trying to get a little extra spending money, that’s all nonsense. We’re raising families. We’re doing hard work. And we deserve to get a living wage for what we do.”
Watch Wise’s interview with Goodman, aired on Democracy Now on Friday, below.
[h/t Crooks & Liars]