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Fast Food Workers March In Bitter Cold For $15 Minimum Wage

Workers and labor activists demonstrate outside the U.S. District Courthouse in support of the city's $15 an hour minimum wage
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Fast food workers and advocates for a higher minimum wage marched from the City of SeaTac to Seattle today as a part of a national day of demonstrations.

Voters in SeaTac this fall narrowly passed a ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 for some workers in transportation and hospitality businesses within city limits. Now, organizers of the march want that expanded to other areas too, and they have support beyond the workers.

City Council Member-elect Kshama Sawant said she plans to introduce legislation next year that would to create a $15 minimum wage in Seattle.

But business owners in Seattle have concerns about the higher wage. Chaco Canyon Café owner Chris Maycutt told The Record’s Marcie Sillman that if the minimum wage increased to $15, the amount of his business’ expenditures to labor would jump to about 65 percent from 48 percent. With rising costs, Maycutt said he worries he would have to shutter his business.

He said he’s conflicted, however.

“I’m someone who totally supports the idea of redistributing wealth from the top to the bottom,” Maycutt said.  “I think there are smarter and more pragmatic ways to go about things. And taking a sledgehammer approach to this – while I understand people’s frustration with society and inequality the way it is – there are better ways to do it.”

Produced for the Web by Kara McDermott.