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Fight for $15 protests happening in Las Vegas

Posted at 6:33 AM, Apr 14, 2016

The Fight for $15 is continuing in Las Vegas.

Fast-food workers began gathering early Thursday morning in downtown Las Vegas near Fremont and Carson streets.

The employees say that they are currently not making enough to send their children to childcare and provide other necessities for their families.

"It's hard trying to make it these days off the low wage that I'm paid right now," says one fast food industry employee, Harold Washington Carnes.  

13 Action News was able to obtain a statement from McDonald's regarding their employees demanding a higher minimum wage.  

“We proudly invest in the future of those who work in McDonald's restaurants," said Lisa McComb, a spokesperson for McDonald's. "In addition to raising the minimum wage for employees at our company-owned restaurants, we also offer employees access to Archways to Opportunity, a set of programs McDonald’s pays for which helps them earn a high school diploma and get needed tuition assistance so they can work toward earning a college degree."
–McDonald’s USA

The protest was part of a nation-wide movement, hoping to catch some of the momentum from other states who have already passed a minimum wage law.  

RELATED: McDonald's stores target by protest for $15 an hour

There are hundreds of protests and strikes happening on April 14 across the country and even worldwide. Thousands of fast-food workers and other people in lower-paying jobs are demanding higher wages.

There are several protests planned around the Las Vegas valley.

The protests on April 14 are expected to be the biggest so far in the Fight for $15.

 

Some small businesses are now worried about what those higher wages would mean for their businesses.

Most employees at a small coffee shop in downtown, called The Beat, are paid minimum wage, plus any tips they make on their shift.  

"We can't afford to pay people much, but we try to make it a really good work environment," says store manager, Michelle Watts.  

That work environment is what worries Watts if the minimum wage were to ever be increased in the state of Nevada.  She says with a $15 an hour minimum wage, they may be forced to increase prices, cut their staff, or increase the work load.  

"That seems like it would detract from their work experience," says Watts.