‘Boycott McPoverty' campaign targets Seattle fast-food restaurants

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The fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle could interrupt fast-food diners’ meals Thursday.

Protesters are targeting 25 fast-food burger restaurants with a movement called "Boycott McPoverty."

A spokesman for the campaign, Sage Wilson of Working Washington, said several dozen demonstrators marched outside a popular McDonald's restaurant on First Hill Thursday morning. Wilson said even the customers going inside for coffee or breakfast expressed support for low-wage workers.

But some did not.

“The people that work here don’t deserve $15,” said Mike LeSieur, coffee in hand. “They just stand around, and are really rude to you here."

Similar demonstrations are planned throughout the day at seven or eight restaurants, and Wilson says 25 McDonalds, Burger Kings and Wendy's in Seattle will be visited by boycott supporters.

The group is demanding the restaurants pay its employees a $15 per hour wage that would be about a 60 percent increase from the current state minimum of $9.32.

That increase struck even some pro-union machine workers, who stopped to watch the First Hill protest, as being a bit high.

 “That’s an awful big jump for employers to have to push out that quickly,” one said.

A McDonalds worker KIRO 7 spoke with Wednesday said she needs to be paid a living wage so she can support her family.   

“It’s not just an entry-level job.  It's a job and there are people who depend on that job like me and there's people who are there for years, like my boss.  So it's kind of offensive for people to call it an entry-level job.  That's not fair,” said Terran Lyons.

KIRO 7 also spoke with a man who's organizing a boycott-busting effort. He wants more people to go to the fast food chains Thursday.  

Part of his logic is that the higher minimum wage will actually kill jobs because the businesses won't be able to afford employ as many people.

Outspoken Seattle city councilmember Kshama Sawant, who supports the $15 minimum wage, will join the group in a boycott and then speak at a downtown Seattle McDonalds Thursday at 1:15 p.m.

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