CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Former Indiana mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg joined dozens of McDonald’s employees in a ‘Fight for $15’ march in downtown Charleston on Monday.
Cooks and cashiers of the fast-food chain are pushing for $15/hr minimum wage and union rights. They are also taking a stand against sexual harassment and racial discrimination which they often face at the restaurants.
The march took place at 1:30 p.m. at Harmon Field and continued to a McDonald’s on Spring Street downtown.
“We have to confront the challenges facing workers — from wage stagnation to consolidated corporate power — and provide a path for working people to get ahead,” said Buttigieg in a press release. “I’m proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with workers in the Fight for $15 and a Union. McDonald’s workers are living with low wages, harassment, and even violent assaults — and they deserve better. It’s critical that we support workers who are coming together to fight for a union, fair wages and benefits, and an end to harassment and discrimination.”
South Carolina ranks low when it comes to union membership nationwide. A raise to $15/hour would lift up more than 684,000 South Carolina workers.
“If I didn’t get food stamps, I would have no way to feed my family and If it weren’t for Medicaid, my son and I would go without health care,” said Taiwanna Milligan, a McDonald’s worker and leader in the Fight for $15 and a Union.
Milligan is paid only $8.75 and has worked at McDonald’s for seven years.
“McDonald’s has repeatedly failed to listen to the voices of its Black and Brown workers who have been joining together for seven years to improve our lives, and they’ve failed to meet our demands. We won’t back down and will do whatever it takes to win for our families and communities,” she said.
That rally came to an end when Buttigieg found himself in a bit of a dicey situation.
After the march, several people began speaking out at the rally, some yelling “you’re not going to be our president” toward Buttigieg just before he got into his vehicle to leave the event.