Nathaniel Santiago began working at a McDonald’s in Fort Lauderdale for $8.56 an hour, Florida’s minimum wage, six months ago. He lost a previous job in a warehouse because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which wiped out roughly $1,500 of his savings, and he was forced to move back home with his mother.
At McDonald’s, as an “essential worker,” he has remained employed throughout the pandemic. After he learned some new skills, he was upgraded to the position of “crew trainer” and he got a raise—an extra 25 cents an hour.
A coworker told Santiago about Fight for $15, a national campaign working to raise wages at companies like McDonald’s to $15 an hour, and Santiago decided to join the movement. He also joined in the effort to mobilize voters in Florida to support Amendment 2, a measure on November’s ballot that would gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15.