News sources on Wednesday are reporting that an employee of McDonald's was arrested on Friday after interrupting a speech being given by McDonald's USA President Jeff Stratton at Chicago’s Union League Club.
Nancy Salgado, 26, an employee with McDonald's for 10 years, was part of a group protesting the company's low wages. In the middle of Stratton's speech, Salgado shouted out,
“It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day. Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years?”
Stratton replied, “I've been there for forty years.”
Salgado shouted back, “The thing is that I need a raise. But you’re not helping your employees. How is this possible?”
This was not the most sympathetic response to Salgado's question, but it does raise the question of what comprises a living wage. Stratton couldn't possibly know what a woman raising two children has to go through to keep food on the table and shoes on their feet.
As a matter of fact, when Stratton took over the reins of McDonald's USA last year, he replaced Jan Fields, who had been making $2.15 million a year. Now, that is nothing to sneeze at.
Salgado described her arrest to a reporter from The Real News’s, Jessica Desvarieux, saying she was told she was "going to jail" for interrupting a speech and trespassing.
“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,” Salgado added. “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?’ You know, just be able to speak up your mind and say, you know what, I can’t survive with $8.25? It’s just — it’s ridiculous that I’m going to get arrested. You know.”
In July, it was announced that McDonald's had partnered with Visa, launching a website for their low-income employees that would teach them how to live on an $8.25 an hour wage. The site includes a sample budget offering an entirely laughable view of how easy it is to live on a minimum wage. The web page also suggests getting a full-time job to supplement their McDonald's job.