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Last Friday, McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton’s speech  at the Union League Club of Chicago was interrupted by a McDonald’s employee who has been employed for over 10 years. The employee was then arrested. Nancy Salgado, 26,  says she was arrested after she confronted the company president at a meeting and told him she couldn’t afford to buy shoes or food for her children

She spoke about the encounter to The Real News’ Jessica Desvarieux.

“The strength was very powerful, like, just remembering the face of my kids, like I say, you know, just simple things like I can’t provide a pair of shoes like everybody else does, sometimes every month, or anything like that,” she said. “And he needs to know we are what all the employees at McDonald’s are going through. We’re struggling day to day to provide our needs in our houses, things for our kids. And it’s just–it gets harder and harder with just the poverty wage they have us living in.”

“They just told me, you know, well, you’re being under arrest because you just interrupted, you trespassed the property. You’re just going to go to jail,” Salgado added. “And what I remember just telling them, ‘well, like, so, because I have to speak out my mind and I had to tell the president the poverty wage I’m living in, that’s just against the law?’ You know, just be able to speak up your mind and say, you know what, I can’t survive with $8.25? It’s just — it’s ridiculous that I’m going to get arrested. You know.”

Salgado is still working at McDonald’s but said her hours have been cut after the arrest.

“The CEOs make millions and billions a year and why can’t they provide enough for their employees?” she wondered.

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  • HTown

    “The CEOs make millions and billions a year and why can’t they provide enough for their employees?”

    No one owes you anything more than what they want to give you? So what if he is making millions. Who are you to demand higher pay? Either you accept what they are offering or you keep it moving.

  • I accidentally gave the comment above a thumbs up.

    If she’s working a job and putting in 10 or more years, she should be entitled to a decent wage. Period!

  • JWE

    So working for 10 years in the same position means you deserve more?!! Holy cow. McDonalds provides low cost fast food. The labor model is for people who are uneducated or go to high school or need a summer job. However, if you are a hardworking person who does their job well you can move up the ranks at McDonalds I know someone who started there out of high school and moved up to the corporate level making well over 200k per year. He has traveled the world for McDonalds. If you are unhappy, go to another restaurant that pays more. Unfriggingbelievable! Go back to school. Reinvent yourself, start your own company. Quit complaining about what someone else should be giving you and go do something for yourself.

    • HTown

      Exactly! I think some people forget what kind of nation this is. We are not owed anything else outside of what labor laws allow. This whole concept of demanding higher pay is a bunch of idealistic and emotional rhetoric. Sounds good (in theory) but realistically speaking, it’s asinine to expect something like this.

      “The strength was very powerful, like, just remembering the face of my kids, like I say, you know, just simple things like I can’t provide a pair of shoes like everybody else does, sometimes every month, or anything like that,”

      Is she serious? Shoes every month? Why did she decide to have kids anyway if she couldn’t afford them? I think these are the types of honest conversations we should be having. Going around trolling large corporation CEOs is not the answer.

  • Me27

    I’m torn over this. Part of me wants to applaud her for standing up and pointing out the large earnings gap between senior leaders in her company and those on the ground level. But at the same time I am thinking, “She’s not entitled to anything…She needs to learn to sell herself.”

    I agree that $8.25/hour is not a livable wage. And I fully support increasing the federal minimum wage to a more realistic amount. However, I think she went about this the wrong way. I thought most McDonald’s were franchisees (maybe I am mistaken). I don’t know how much influence corporate has over how much franchise owners pay their workers. If she is looking for a raise, she should start in-house. Find out from her managers and the owner what she could start doing to move up the ranks. Do they offer management training? If so, is she eligible for the training? If not eligible, what steps does she need to take to become eligible? Working at a company for 10 years and not having anything to show for it sounds crazy to me. McDonald’s is known for promoting from within. Maybe management at her store needs to do better about offering training and letting their employees know their options for upward mobility, but she also needs to step up and show some initiative by asking what her options may be. If she finds resistance from owners/management, then she should start looking for a new job at a different restaurant. I couldn’t imagine remaining loyal to a company that doesn’t respect and value its employees

  • Gina

    More than half of low-wage workers employed by the largest U.S. fast-food restaurants earn so little that they must rely on public assistance to get by. McDonald’s is the worst offender, costing taxpayers $1.2 billion in poverty benefits for its employees. McDonald’s claims that they operate on razor-thin profit margins and can’t pay a living wage. Yet they announced in Oct 2013 they had bought yet another brand new $35 million corporate jet for their fleet.