Essential Pittsburgh
4:28 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Workers Demonstrate for Fair Wage & Commemorate March on Washington

People carried signs for many civil rights causes in 1963, jobs and workers' rights were chief among them.
People carried signs for many civil rights causes in 1963, jobs and workers' rights were chief among them.
Credit American Jewish Congress records / wikipedia

The group One Pittsburgh is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington by staging a protest at the Strip District McDonald’s drive thru, Saturday. Protest organizer, Calvin Skinner says people often forget that the 1963 March on Washington was titled, “the march for jobs and freedom.”

“The March on Washington was always about Civil Rights,” says Skinner “But also about economic rights and economic justice and that’s a story that is not told. It’s a place where we’ve lost significant ground in this country.”

Skinner says the group chose to protest at the McDonald's as a symbol and representation of the wage gap in America. He says the CEO of McDonald’s makes 857 times more than the average fast food worker.

With the Saturday protest, organizers at One Pittsburgh hope to educate Strip District visitors about the role they play in the problem. He says based on a national employment law project study, the cost of a Big Mac would only have to go up by 17% in order to pay workers a living wage of $15 an hour.

"We'll be asking visitors, would you pay 68 cents more for your Big Mac?"

Officials at the McDonald’s corporation did not respond by the time of broadcast.