Around the nation, many minimum wage and lower income workers walked of the job or participated in demonstrations asking for higher wages. Many people who struggle with low wages believe they should be earning at least $15 an hour. They are saying that a minimum wage job does not allow enough money to rent a nice apartment, eat well and have a comfortable lifestyle. Lower wage earners in Miami were among them.
"I work very hard, I mean very hard and I only make minimum wage. I actually work at two fast food restaurants in Miami so I am putting in a lot of effort. But when am I going to get a good income," said Sarah Holtz.
One man who was carrying a sign asking for $15 an hour said he believes he is being exploited and mistreated at work. "I work as a janitor and I really think I should be making about $25 an hour. I have to pick up disgusting garbage and mop floors. The work is very hard and demanding and I am not being rewarded. I did not have the opportunity to get as much education and training but I should be respected and valued for what I do. It just is not right," said Ricky Bradley.
A woman who was also carrying a sign requesting $15 an hour said she works as a nurse's aid and should receive more money. "I work hard and I should get about $20 and hour. I take care of people. I change adult diapers and deal with patients and their problems. People like us should get a lot more money. Look at the big executives. They are not more valuable than people like us," said Monique Gonzalez.
Others believe a high minimum wage would only harm lower income workers. "I don't think there should be a minimum wage. I think people should be paid what an employer believes they are really worth. If an employer does not want to pay a worker fairly, that worker should find another job," said Thomas Fields.
The debate on minimum wage is likely to continue.