Nashville Fast-Food Workers To Ask For $15 Hourly In Wave Of Strikes

Aaliyah Morris says she gets plenty of hours working at McDonald's, but at her wage of $7.35, it'd be tough to afford a car, let alone move out of her mom's house. (Photo: WPLN/ Daniel Potter)

Aaliyah Morris says she gets plenty of hours working at McDonald’s, but at her wage of $7.35, it’d be tough to afford a car, let alone move out of her mom’s house. (Photo: WPLN/ Daniel Potter)

Dozens of workers at fast-food chains around Nashville are going on strike Thursday.  The day marks the latest in a series of coordinated national events this year, and the first such strike in Nashville.  Workers are calling to be paid $15 hourly.

Aaliyah Morris earns a little under half that at a McDonald’s in south Nashville.  She’s also a student aspiring to become a pharmaceutical tech.  But for now, the 19-year-old lives with—and helps out—her mom and three little brothers.

Morris says her mom works in fast-food too, and was actually the one to talk her into striking.  In turn, she persuaded her best friend, who was hesitant at first.

“But then I talked to her about, well, would you just settle for $7.25?  Are you worth $7.25, you know?  And she thought about it and she called me, like, ‘I’m gonna go in with this.  I thought about it, I’m not worth $7.25, I’m gonna do this.  I think it’s right.’”

Morris admits she’s nervous about getting in trouble at work, but thinks it’s worth it.

The coordinated strike caps a year of escalating events in cities across the U.S.  In August, the Service Employees International Union backed a similar national effort, when more than a thousand workers walked off the job.


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