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:



More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by