A speech from McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton last week at the Union Club in Chicago was interrupted by a group of protesters from the Fight For 15, an organization that advocates for $15/hr wages to be given to fast food workers. One protester was Nancy Salgado, a woman who has been working as a McDonald’s employee for 10 years.
During the event, Salgado interrupted Stratton’s speech by yelling the following: “Do you think it’s fair that I have to be living on a poverty wage? Do you think it’s fair that I am making $8.25 while I’ve worked for McDonald’s for 10 years? Do you think it’s fair? My two kids are struggling because you can’t raise our minimum wage. I don’t believe that’s fair. What do you have to say?”
According to witnesses at the event, Stratton had a simple reply. “I’ve been there for forty years,” Stratton said from his podium. Aside from that remark, Stratton largely allowed Salgado and other protesters to voice their opinions, only occasionally offering apologies to the others in attendance at the event.
Salgado was arrested for interrupting the speech and taken away from the Union Club. She recounted her story to The Real News.
“They just told me, you know, well, you’re being under arrest because you just interrupted, you trespassed the property. You’re just going to go to jail. And what I remember just telling them, ‘well, like, so, because I have to speak out my mind and I had to tell the president the poverty wage I’m living in, that’s just against the law?’” Salgado said.
The frustrated McDonald’s employee added that she simply wanted to express how the restaurant’s workers feel about their current situation and wages to the president of the company.
“[Stratton] needs to know we are what all the employees at McDonald’s are going through. We’re struggling day to day to provide our needs in our houses, things for our kids. And it’s just- it gets harder and harder with just the poverty wage they have us living in,” Salgado said.
Despite the protests and subsequent arrests, Salgado is still working at McDonald’s. She claims, however, that her hours have been cut, which she believes to be related to the recent incident at the protest.