Protestors took the sidewalk on Thursday demanding higher wages and the ability to form a union for the 2300 Fast-food workers in Columbia.
In more than 100 cities across the country, protests brought together various industry workers asking for a higher, more livable wage and the ability to form unions.
Passersby honk as a group of protestors chant "We cannot survive on $7.35" in front of the Burger King on Business Loop-70 in Columbia. Standing in 20 degree weather, the protestors demand higher wages and the ability to form a union.
Losia Nyankale helps daughter Jonessa and son Juliean learn the alphabet. Nyankale, who works in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., says she needs food stamps and child-care subsidies to make ends meet.
Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.
"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."
The minimum wage in Missouri increased 10 cents to $7.35 cents to start the New Year.
That may go up in the near future.
In the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said he wants to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.
“Today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we've put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That's wrong,” Obama said.
Missouri's minimum wage will rise by a dime to $7.35 an hour in 2013.
For the past several years, Missouri has followed the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That's because the federal rate was equal to or greater than the state's minimum, which is adjusted annually based on the cost of living.
But inflation has now pushed Missouri's minimum wage above the federal standard. The new wage is posted on the website of the state labor department.
Initiatives that would cap payday loan interest rates, raise the Missouri minimum wage, and raise the state's tobacco tax are a step closer to the November ballot, after a Missouri Supreme Court ruling yesterday. The three initiatives were tied up for months in court – one judge struck down the payday petition, ruling the ballot summary was "likely to deceive petition signers." But yesterday, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld all three ballot summaries.