25 Arrested at Zuccotti Park $15 Minimum Wage Protest - NBC New York

25 Arrested at Zuccotti Park $15 Minimum Wage Protest

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    The event was part of the National Day of Action to Fight for $15. The campaign seeks higher hourly wages, including for workers at fast-food restaurants and airports. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016)

    About 25 people participating in a nationwide minimum-wage protest were arrested Tuesday after they linked arms and sat on a lower Manhattan street.

    They were among about 350 people at a peaceful rally, part of the National Day of Action to Fight for $15. The campaign seeks higher hourly wages, including for workers at fast-food restaurants and airports. It was also the first time Uber drivers had joined the protest. 

    Participants chanted "We shall not be moved" and waved signs that read "We won't back down" and "Strike for $15 and our future."

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last April that gradually raises New York's minimum wage.

    One protester, Flavia Cabral, 55, struggles to make ends meet with two part-time jobs.

    "All these people don't have savings because we're working check to check," said Cabral. "We have to decide what we are going to get: We're going to pay rent or we're going to put food on the table or we're going to send my child to school."

    Cabral, who's originally from the Dominican Republic, said she was especially concerned about her children's education.

    "No family has money saved to send their children to school. I'm one of them," she said, adding that one of her daughters dropped out and she's concerned about keeping her other daughter in school.

    Fast-food worker Alvin Major, 51, of Brooklyn, said he supports four children and a wife recovering from cancer.

    "Fifteen dollars is just a number," he said. "If we could get one dollar and one dollar could take care of our health care, housing, food and everything, that's what we need."

    The minimum wage will rise to $15 in New York City by the end of 2018 and in some prosperous suburbs by the end of 2021. It will rise to $12.50 in the rest of the state by 2020, eventually reaching $15.

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