As part of a national day of protests for a $15 minimum wage, rallies were held in more than 300 cities around the country and included airport workers, Uber drivers, child care and elder care workers, adjunct professors, and others demanding higher wages for the jobs they do.
At four rallies in Kansas City, calls for human rights blended with higher wage demands as speakers expressed fear that minimum wage progress as well as civil rights may be jeopardized under President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
In St. Louis, police arrested nearly 30 demonstrators Tuesday evening outside the McDonald’s restaurant on Hampton Avenue near Interstate 44 for blocking traffic.
Political observers said federal minimum wage increases are problematic. Larry Mishel, president of the labor-oriented Economic Policy Institute, said the incoming Congress “appears set on passing draconian economic laws meant to benefit Wall Street and big business at the expense of working families.”
Hopes of an increase in the $7.25-per-hour federal minimum wage were dashed earlier in November by the election of a Republican-controlled Congress, but advocates say they will continue to press for increases at state and local levels.