"You know we're here today to tell McDonald's that it's not acceptable to pay your workers a wage they can't live on. We have so many families out there of people who can't afford the rent who are paying 50, 60, 70 percent of their income in rent. They can't put food on the table. And for the last 40 years we've been asking less and less of people at the very top in the big corporations and more and more of the middle class and the working poor."
Democratic presidential contender Julian Castro joined a march to a McDonald's restaurant in North Carolina on Thursday to draw attention to workers' efforts to raise the minimum wage and secure other protections.
Nearly all the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have expressed support for the idea that the federal minimum wage should be more than doubled, to $15 an hour, and several were joining actions around the country Thursday.
The McDonald's annual shareholder meeting is also Thursday in Dallas. Striking cooks and cashiers planned to travel to the shareholder meeting, where they'll attend a video town hall hosted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential candidate.
Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development and current San Antonio mayor, marched with roughly 200 activists, minimum wage workers and union representatives from a park in Durham to a nearby McDonalds. He joined them in chants of, "Put some respect in my check," and "What do we want? 15! When do we want it? Now!"
Workers banged on makeshift drums, waved red flags saying "NC raise up" and carried a giant effigy of McDonald's cartoon character Ronald McDonald. The march ended in a rally front of a McDonalds.
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