South Carolina fast-food cooks and cashiers walked off the job Saturday morning, calling for $15 an hour and union rights, and were joined for the first time by fast-food workers in Greenville. The strike kicks off a daylong series of protests that was planned to culminate in a march on the GOP debate Saturday night at the Peace Center downtown, with workers from across the state “challenging candidates to come get their votes,” according to a statement from Fight for 15.
Richard Baxter, a Subway employee in Greenville, told the crowd this afternoon he was out on strike because he can’t support his son on $8.50 an hour.
Tamariah Meritt, a local child care worker who joined in the protest, told CNNMoney “No one works in child care for big bucks, but when I’m paid $8.00 an hour, I can’t afford essentials for myself such as rent. Too many of us can’t afford the basics and too many parents can’t afford quality care. Politicians have the power to change that.”
The workers’ strike in Greenville comes just two days after Milwaukee workers stormed the Democratic debate at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin, and follows a wave of other walkouts coinciding with presidential primary debates in Manchester, New Hampshire; Charleston, S.C.; and Des Moines, Iowa.