OAK BROOK, Ill. — Demonstrators descended on Oak Brook Wednesday to call for a higher minimum wage in fast-food restaurants.
Dozens of tents have taken over McDonald’s Drive. Protesters say this weather won’t dampen their message.
Melinda Robinson works at a Burger King. She and her two children were bussed in from KansasCcity for the Fight for 15 protest.
They’re planning to sleep in a tent tonight outside McDonald’s plaza in Oak Brook.
“We’re out here doing whatever it takes,” she said. “I make eight dollars an hour. To hear your kids say they’re hungry, it’s terrible because these corporations don’t want to pay us and we’re the ones making them rich.”
Earlier, rain soaked protesters marched down 22nd Street demanding 15 dollars an hour and union rights.
They planned two days of protests ahead of McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting.
But the group includes workers from many fast-food restaurants along with home and childcare workers and unions marching in solidarity.
McDonald’s released this statement saying:
We offer McDonald's employees the opportunity to develop the valuable skills and work ethic necessary to build successful careers even beyond our restaurants. Last July, we raised wages for all employees at our company-owned restaurants to $1 dollar above the local minimum wage and gave them the ability to earn paid time off.
But protesters say that is not enough.
Oak Brook police say the remaining protesters will be allowed to stay overnight in their tents. They’re holding another rally here tomorrow morning.
— Gaynor Hall (@gaynor_hall) May 25, 2016