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Can Workers Live in New York City on $7.25 an Hour?

Hundreds of fast-food workers today said no.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Naquasia LeGrand of Canarsie, Brooklyn, makes $7.70 an hour at a KFC in Sunset Park. (Jennifer Hsu/WNYC)

"Me personally, I'm doing this for my 3 children," says Shenita Simon. The 26-year-old gathered outside a Wendy's franchise in downtown Brooklyn with nearly a hundred other fast-food employees. The protest was the latest in a series of actions by workers in cities throughout the country calling to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and have the right to organize a union

As a shift supervisor at a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Simon works 40 hours a week, earning $8 an hour. Her weekly take-home pay after taxes? Approximately $270. A wage that she says is far from enough to support her family of 5.

"It's very stressful raising a family on the bare minimum," Simon says. "When I first started, I couldn't wait to get up and go to work every day. But you know when the job becomes just about, 'OK wow, I can't feed my kids again this week....Ok wow, I have to skip a meal just to make sure my kids can eat,' it's depressing. It's very depressing."

Video: Meet 3 fast-food workers struggling to live near the minimum wage in NYC:

 

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