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Rallies in Twin Cities, elsewhere make case for $15 minimum wage

MINNEAPOLIS -- Dozens of people were arrested Tuesday as they participated in protests nationwide, including the Twin Cities, for a $15 per hour minimum wage.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Dozens of people were arrested Tuesday as they participated in protests nationwide, including the Twin Cities, for a $15 per hour minimum wage.

Fast-food restaurant workers and home and child care workers rallied in cities including Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles and New York. In many cities the protesters blocked busy intersections.

In Chicago, hundreds of protesters at O’Hare International Airport were outside terminals chanting “What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!” As many as 500 workers at the airport planned to strike.

In Minnesota, workers early Tuesday morning rallied outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and blocked parts of Hennepin Avenue near a South Minneapolis McDonald’s restaurant. Several arrests were reported from the morning rally in Minneapolis.

Tuesday evening, a large gathering gathered at the University of Minnesota’s Coffman Memorial Union and march to a McDonald’s in Dinkytown calling for the minimum wage increase.

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The efforts were all part of the National Day of Action to Fight for $15.

About 25 of the 350 protesters in New York City were arrested. One protester, Flavia Cabral, 55, struggles to make ends meet with two part-time jobs.

“All these people don’t have savings because we’re working check to check,” Cabral said. “We have to decide what we are going to get: We’re going to pay rent or we’re going to put food on the table or we’re going to send my child to school.”

In the San Francisco Bay Area, ride-hailing drivers, fast-food employees, airport workers and others shut down an Oakland intersection. Earlier this year, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will lift the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

Minnesota’s minimum wage is $9.50 an hour for large employers, and $7.75 an hour for small ones.

Raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $12 would lift pay for 35 million workers, or 1 in 4 employees nationwide, according to the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

The conservative-leaning, nonprofit Employment Policies Institute think tank said it believes minimum wage increases will result in lost jobs, reduced hours and business closures.

 

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