CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The president of the West Virginia AFL-CIO says the minimum wage should be raised after fast-food workers in 50 cities staged walkouts Thursday.

MetroNews file photo

Fast food workers called for higher pay during Thursday walkouts in 50 cities.

“There are a lot of families that are working two or three jobs, they’re working minimum wage jobs and they’re not able to afford to make a living,” said Kenny Perdue.

Workers with McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC planned a day-long walkout Thursday as part of their call for raising the minimum pay to $15 per hour. In some cases, workers are seeking the ability to form unions without retaliation.

Officials with the Service Employees International Union organized the protests. Some retail workers also joined the cause, which Perdue said was justified.

“I am in support of what SEIU is doing and there’s other issues out there with the minimum wage that I think we should be talking about,” he said on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Analysts estimated the median pay for fast-food workers across the country is slightly more than $9 an hour or roughly $18,500 a year. The U.S. Census Bureau has set the poverty level at $23,000 annually for a family of four.

The minimum wage in West Virginia is $7.25 an hour.

Perdue said the cost of everything is always rising, though. “Those little things like that continually raise the income needed for people, the younger people, the people that are working two or three jobs, for them to make a living,” he said.

The minimum wage was last raised in 2009. President Barack Obama has proposed increasing that minimum wage to $9 an hour.

Organizers of Thursday’s protests in 50 cities claimed it was the largest strike to ever hit the $200 billion fast food industry.

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  • wvtd

    another reason to avoid these extreme leftist unions that are no more than money laundering operations for the radical liberal democrat party.

  • wvman78

    I have worked in corrections for 7 years and make less than $15 a hour, what would I get out of this? Myself, like a lot of others, would have to quit an important job and start working at McDonald's. Not to mention how this minimum wage increase would in turn raise prices overall, such as grocery stores, walmart, etc.

  • SDO101

    Every one seems to want more for less. Society wants handouts with less work involved. I get in a helicopter and fly medevac missions for a living, which means I have a pretty extensive education and I don't make much more than 15 bucks an hour. People are absolutely insane to think that saying "can I take your order" entitles them to such a pay raise. And for those Labor Leaders that support this, shame on you too! Those of us out there who choose to get educated or go into a skilled trade that is in demand deserve the better wages. From doctors and nurses to miners and welders, we should be the ones making the higher wages, not an entry level fast food job that is mostly high school or college students that are getting their first start in the real work work force..

  • MT

    RIGHT ON MATT!! There are many good paying jobs for people who are willing make something of themselves. Get an education and you will find out. Got a BA in Science degree 20 yrs ago, yes it was hard and demanding but I have had a great job ever since and I have never had to look for work.

    You have to want to do it.

    Now because of government crap its easier to stay on the tax payer dime and sit at home getting fat, doing drugs, and spittn out kids to get more welfare.

    I made over $100,000 in 2012 and a friend of mine who will work only long enough to stay below a certain income level for the year got over $6000 back from state and federal, while I had to PAY the state and ferderal gov money

    BULL CRAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • thornton

    Did Perdue ever work for the City of Detroit?

  • Joe

    Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a 15 dollar per hour made bun!

  • BAC

    Yeah, raise it to $15 an hour! Americans eat out 60% of the time, maybe more, WAY too much. It's making us fat and sick. Such a high pay rate would cause your fast food to go from $5 or $7 upward to $15 to $20, which is a good thing, perhaps--maybe it would force people to stay home & eat a bit healthier.

  • jm

    Am dang close to having a Masters degree, been with the state 17 years.....and all giving these people 15.00 per hour would do... is put me into the same income level...... And my job required a minimum of a Bachelors....

    But look out.......if this were to happen here... the teachers will be the ones that really start throwing a fit

  • zerotolerance

    Do you need anymore proof that unions are the downfall of the American industry?

  • Joe

    What does the term "working people" mean?

  • blugldmn

    Kenny's benefits probably are more than his salary..

  • blugldmn

    What's really appalling is that people have been conditioned to think Wendy's is a career that you should do your whole life.

    And democrats and unions agree.

    The union only wants the money for political purposes, they don't give a rats azz about workers.

  • CaptainQ

    Fast food workers are going to need every single penny they can get when the provisions of ObamaCare kick in and they all become 'less than full time' workers so their bosses won't have to supply them with health care coverage.

    For that matter, nearly all service workers in America will find themselves suddenly 'less than full time' thanks to ObamaCare.

  • thornton

    I wonder if $15/hr would guarantee that I get the correct order placed in the bag? $9/hr doesn't.

  • Matt

    They must be making enough to walk off the job today.........