Rhode Island fast food workers join national strike - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Rhode Island fast food workers join national strike

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Nicole Gerber

ngerber@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

WARWICK - Today marks the first time fast food employees in Rhode Island participated in the national protests, for a campaign more than a year in the making.

Workers want $15 an hour. And they want to be able to form a union without interference from their employers.

A protest was held outside of the Wendy's on Warwick Ave. in Warwick. Some workers walked off the job.. joined by dozens of supporters chanting "can't survive on $7.75!"

"I need better pay and I need better hours so I can be able to take care of my kids," said Bounche Dorbor, who has been working at the Wendy's for 5 years, and went on strike today.

She joined other fast food employees across the nation in that protest today.

"If they can buy the equipment for 3 thousand, 6 thousand, and open 8 new stores... we can get a raise!" said Dorbor.

The National Restaurant Association is pushing back against these protests, saying that if workers wages were to go up, food on the menus could become more expensive.
And others  think the strikers demands are unrealistic.

"I've been a carpenter for 35 years and I barely make that much an hour," said Kevin St. Pierre from North Providence.

"I think it's too high... $15? Wages in Rhode Island are low today, very low," said Bill from Warwick.

But for some picking up their lunch today at Wendy's... the striking workers left a lasting impression.

"In this day in age if you're not making 9 or 10 dollars an hour, you're not making enough to survive," said Pat Gentile before she went through the Wendy's drive thru.

Today's strike began at noon and lasted only through the afternoon.

Those workers are expected to be back on the job tomorrow.

(c) WLNE-TV 2013

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