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Economy / Business

'Fight for $15' Workers March for Higher Wages

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Quincy J. Walters
/
WUSF News

A national protest for higher wages for low-paid workers came to the Tampa Bay area Wednesday.

About 50 protesters gathered outside of a Walmart on Fletcher Avenue in Tampa. 

They were composed of Walmart employees, fast food employees and childcare workers.

Their demand: a higher minimum wage. It was part of a nationwide protest for the Fight for $15 movement, which seeks $15 an hour.

"Fifteen in my hand, I want fifteen in my hand," the group chanted. 

Some of the protesters, who are current Walmart employees, declined to be interviewed for fear of losing their jobs. However, Lisa Pietro wasn't afraid. 

"I'm from Winter Haven, Florida. Store 0968," she said. "And I don't mind telling you."

Pietro said that the hours are long. She's either at work or recuperating from work. 

Last month, Walmart raised their minimum wage to $9 an hour. Pietro was earning $8.95 before. 

"It was a nickel. It was a slap in the face," she said. "It's going to taxes. It won't do anything for me." 

Brian Nick, the director for national media relations for Walmart, called the $15 demand "arbitrary". He said that next year, the company's minimum wage will be raised to $10 an hour. 

However, for Pietro, it's still not enough.