Opinion | Adriana Alvarez: A minimum wage raise by Congress to $15 an hour would change lives — as it changed mine. - NBCNewsTHINK
Working at a McDonald's just outside Chicago for over a decade, I know what it's like to work full time yet be unable to pay for your basic needs.
Fight for $15 and a UnionFeb. 23, 2021, 9:32 AM UTCByAdriana Alvarez, McDonald's worker from Cicero, IllinoisIf you watch the debate on Capitol Hill, thefight to raise the minimum wageto $15 an hour seems like little more than a skirmish in a larger fight between opposing politicians. But for me and my co-workers, it means something else entirely: the difference between poverty and dignity.
When you're making only $8.50 an hour — that's less than $18,000 a year — you have to make very hard choices.I've been working at a McDonald's just outside Chicago for over a decade now. When I began in 2010, I was young and easy to exploit. It paid me $8.50 an hour, and I was often forced to do work"
off the clock." For example, if my job was to work the cash register, I had to come in 15 to 20 minutes before the shift officially began to count the register and then do the same thing at the end of the shift. That could end up being an extra hour of work for no pay. headtopics.com
While working there, I got pregnant and had my son. Being a single mom is hard enough. But constantly working to support him and still not having enough to live on can put you in a dark place. When you're making only $8.50 an hour — that's less than $18,000 a year — you have to make very hard choices.
To afford housing, I moved into a basement-level apartment that frequently flooded, damaging my things and putting me in a constant panic. Almost all our money beyond rent and utilities went to food. But my son is lactose intolerant and needs special milk that costs $6 a container. What do you do when you can't afford to keep your child healthy?
Adriana Alvarez with her son, Manny, in February 2020 in Chicago.Fight for $15 and a UnionWhen my boy had a major growth spurt, necessitating new shoes and clothes, there was no way I could get him what he needed and also take care of myself. For clothes, I use my mom's hand-me-downs. She didn't want to make me feel bad, so she would say she bought an outfit for herself and then claim it didn't fit.
During that time, my son and I were unable to do almost anything fun. No going to the movies and no"luxuries" like ice cream or toys. We were essentially quarantining: We stayed home all the time out of financial necessity. The one exception? Going to the park because it was free. headtopics.com
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THINK Fast food jobs do not deserve a raise to $15. These jobs are not made to provide you with livable wages. These positions should be made available to only high school/young college students. And should you get a raise if I have to ask for things AGAIN when I get to the window? Lol THINK You do realise Mcdonalds are replacing staff with machines. You're giving them a great excuse to buy more machines and hire less staff. This will bite back.
THINK The Republicans and their backers, corporations, businesses, and maybe your own boss, want to keep you broke, hungry and powerless. MinimumWage15 EconomicSurvival THINK I'm very supportive! One of the priorities of the government's work is to improve people's livelihood. The wage level of $15 an hour instantly exceeds that of most countries, including China.
THINK cost of living will go up, government will get more taxes and you will have a lot more competition for that job. Just saying in most cases if you are making minimum wage there is a reason for it. Opportunity is there. Having the right attitude is priceless. THINK Thank you. Stay safe. MinimumWage
THINK FightFor15 THINK My big concern with this is the owners. I mean what about their 2nd yachts? The yacht builders and workers that keep that 2nd yacht floating ? What about their plight?