RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Thousands of protesters from cities all across the country march from Monroe Park to the Robert E. Lee memorial Saturday. It was a part of a two-day Fight for $15 Convention.
“We are here to helping galvanize the fight for 15 in a union movement and linking it to the fight for racial justice,” said SEIU International President, Mary Kay Henry.
In blazing heat, men, women, and children alike held signs and raised their voices hoping to create more awareness for economic disparities among America’s workers.
“It is hard very hard to try to raise a family on $8.50 an hour. My son and I try to fill the refrigerator and try to keep the lights on. It’s a struggle,” said Dawn O’Neal. O’Neal is a child care worker from Atlanta, Georgia.
“Here in Virginia, half of the African American people are working for less than $15 an hour and less than minimum wage. Two to three out of five Hispanic are getting less than 15 an hour and minimum wage,” said Pastor W.J. Rideout.
Reverend William Barber, II who spoke at this year’s Democratic National Convention, says things are far worse now for working people than they’ve ever been.
“It is time for the south to rise again but to rise in a way that is more just and rise in a way they can really begin to shape the moral constitutional and economic justice reality of America,” said Rev. William Barber, II.
Protestors say the issue of living wages is a deep moral problem in the country and they’re demanding a change.
“I have been working for a retail company for 11 years and I just got double digits like this week,” said April McCoy.Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.