Fast food workers strike for higher wages

Workers gathered to protest outside the Air and Space Museum on the Mall. Photo: Suzanne Kennedy

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - Minimum wage workers rallied outside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, where some of them work at the McDonald’s.

Protestors say they don’t make enough money working in the fast food industry, so they have joined others around the country in walking off the job.

"I got paid yesterday and my check was $167 -- I can't make it off that every two weeks," says employee Melissa Roseboro.

This group of low-wage workers is made up of federal contractors, and they are urging the President to sign an executive order to make companies that contract with the government pay a livable wage.

"My monthly paycheck doesn't cover...I'm still on government assistance. I get food stamps and I don't get any benefits, so it's kind of hard," says employee Shemethia Butler.

Labor groups and workers want to see the minimum wage increased from $7.25 an hour, but employers – especially small businesses – oppose the change.

"We're dealing with health care increases, regulatory increases including the rising of taxes -- so when you add a minimum wage increase on top of that, small businesses feel they're being hit from all sides," explains Sr. Media Manager, Eric Reller.

Here in Arlington, workers staged a protest in the restaurant, hoping they will have an impact on the debate over the minimum wage hike.