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McDonald's Workers Strike for Wage Hike

Workers at McDonald's across Missouri and the country are demanding $15 dollars an hour and more child care help from the government. (Anna Wildfong)
Workers at McDonald's across Missouri and the country are demanding $15 dollars an hour and more child care help from the government. (Anna Wildfong)
April 14, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Fast food workers are on strike in Missouri and across the country today, and they're being joined by child care workers, community organizations and some lawmakers. They want higher wages and more government help with child care.

Kimberly Riley is 22 and works for McDonald's in Florissant. She makes $9.16 an hour and helps her mother support her brothers and sisters. She said even though her mom works and she has a job with the second largest employer in the world, together they can't make ends meet.

"After paying bills, paying the light bill, the gas bill, paying for a rent, paying her car note and after doing everything, it's still not enough," she said.

McDonald's recently raised wages to $1 above the mandated minimum wage for about 90,000 workers, but employees say they need at least $15 an hour in order to survive. The strike is a global, one-day event.

Riley says McDonald's is influencing the wages and working conditions of fast food, child care, and other jobs. She says the goal of a company should be to provide workers with a living, not pay them the lowest wage possible.

"Everybody should be able to make a living wage, whether you're working at McDonald's, you're working for home health care, child care, anything," she added. "Everybody should make a living wage. I mean people have to eat, people need transportation, people want to go to school."

Riley says her dream is to be a nurse but she refuses to quit work or reduce her hours to go to college because she doesn't want her mother to struggle.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO