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Economy / Business

Low-Wage Workers Protest in Temple Terrace

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Lucielle Salomon
/
WUSF

 Across the country and in Florida, low-wage workers protested on Thursday at lunchtime for higher pay. One of the places they gathered was at a McDonald's in Temple Terrace.

They want to be paid at least $15 per hour, and they also want the right to form a union.

Mandy Spencer works at the fast food restaurant in Temple Terrace. She said was nervous to go outside  and protest, but said her manager gave her permission.

"I need a raise. [I've] been here 17 years. I need a raise. I've done a lot," she said. "I have five children, two are grown already, and I make $8.25 an hour."

Spencer said she struggles to pay rent and her other bills with what she makes as a McDonald's employee. 

Vanessa Ferrera worked at Walmart for eight years and said she did not like the way she was treated. She's a member of  "Our Walmart," an organization that advocates on behalf of workers.

She came out to the protest, even though she is not a McDonald's employee.

"It's a shame people have to go out there and ask for a decent living and full-time hours," she said. "They can't feed their family. They are struggling. It's just not humane."

Jessica Fox is a public relations manager for McDonald's. She was at the Temple Terrace location Thursday, and said people are allowed to protest as long as they keep it peaceful.

The corporate office said it respects everyone’s rights to  protest. On the issue of minimum wage, the corporate office said it does not determine wages for individual franchises.

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