July 24, 2015
By Osmara Ortiz, a Burger King employee from Kansas City, MO
The following statement is by Osmara Ortiz, a Burger King employee from Kansas City, MO on the Kansas City Council’s vote to raise the city’s minimum wage to $13. Ortiz is paid $8.30 an hour at Burger King.
Kansas City, Mo – “Because fast-food workers in Kansas City joined together and spoke out for change, tens of thousands of workers in America’s heartland will see an increase in pay. This raise wouldn’t have happened without the city’s brave fast-food workers standing up, going on strike and demanding $15 an hour.
“But even though $13 is a decent start, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Workers in Kansas City need $15 to support our families and we can’t wait. Plus, excluding young workers is simply unfair—both to them and because it could lead to discrimination against older workers. My husband and I can barely provide for our daughter, Hailey. We fall behind on bills and rent and are forced to take out pay day loans just to get through each week. Kansas City residents like me shouldn’t have to worry about feeding our children, especially when we work for multi-billion dollar employers like Burger King and McDonald’s.
“Across the country, $15 is fast becoming the new baseline minimum wage. This increase to $13 shows what happens when workers unite and gives us hope that by continuing our fight, Kansas City will soon join cities across the country passing $15 as their minimum wage. A majority of Kansas Citians support our demand for $15 because they know that higher wages for underpaid workers will lift up the entire city. We will continue marching, striking and speaking out until we win $15 and union rights.”