Schakowsky: Minimum wage workers deserve a raise this Labor Day - KMSP-TV

Schakowsky: Minimum wage workers deserve a raise this Labor Day

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Rep. Jan Schakowsky fired a new salvo in the battle over minimum wage at fast food restaurants in a Labor Day blog post.

She ripped into McDonald's CEO Donald Thompson, regarding how much money he makes in a year, compared to what his employees make on minimum wage.

Schakowsky protested with minimum wage workers outside the Rock N Roll McDonald's in Chicago on Friday. They currently make $8.25 an hour, and they're pushing for $15. She said she met one worker who has been working for the company for a decade, and has only seen a $0.25 raise. The congresswoman did not think this was fair.

She also tried to present a letter to the management about working conditions - like air conditioning in the kitchen, no drinking water, short cash registers and the money coming out of the workers' pockets.

Schakowsky then used the Labor Day holiday to make a strong statement about labor, saying that American minimum wage workers should be given a raise.

Thompson was paid nearly $14 million in 2012. She wrote that if you break that down, it comes to $6,611 an hour. Essentially, Schakowsky said he makes more in two hours on the first day of the year than some minimum wage workers employed in his restaurants make in the duration of the year.

Donald Thompson said he grew up in poverty, in Cabrini Green, and was raised by his grandmother. They moved to Indianapolis because of safety concerns. Thompson said he studied electrical engineering and he is where he is now because of his drive to succeed.

Thompson also said that the McDonald's company provides opportunities for people to grow their careers. FOX Business Network financial analyst Phil Flynn told Good Day Chicago that these entry-level jobs were never meant to be career jobs to support families, they were simply jobs to give people their first steps to get going.

Flynn also pointed out that Thompson has a bit more responsibility that the average McDonald's worker. He said Schakowsky is "playing her base," that the labor union has been struggling and are looking to reinvigorate the movement with fast food workers at the forefront.

He said that $15 an hour for minimum wage is unrealistic. If they do get the wage increase, some of the franchises will have to drastically cut hours or close their doors, and jobs will be scarcer in the fast food industry.

Flynn said entry-level jobs that pay minimum wage are "not what this country should be aspiring to."

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