Jennifer Hsu, Video Producer
Jennifer Hsu produces videos about news and culture for WNYC. She is the creator of the ongoing Know Your Neighbor video series of intimate portraits about living in New York City.
"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: