Nancy Salgado is 26 years old and is a cashier at McDonald’s. She has been at her current McDonald’s for ten months. She is a single mother with seven- and two-year old children. The family currently lives in Logan Square, a community on Chicago’s northwest Side. Nancy earns $8.25 an hour, works thirty to forty hours per week and is struggling to raise her two kids. Nancy has worked for McDonald’s since she was 16 and has never had a raise.
JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
On Friday, the president of McDonald’s was interrupted during a talk by an employee of ten years and mother of two, Nancy Salgado. She confronted him about not being able to make ends meet. Let’s take a listen to what she had to say.
NANCY SALGADO, MCDONALD’S WORKER AND UNION MEMBER: –woman and a single mother of two. It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day. Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years? The thing is that I need a raise. But you’re not helping your employees. How is this possible? You are doing, you’re asking, and you’re out here putt ing your face and said, I’ve done all this. But to your employees you haven’t done anything.
DESVARIEUX: Now joining us from Chicago is Nancy Salgado.
Thanks for speaking with us, Nancy.
SALGADO: Hi. Good afternoon. No problem. Thank you for having me.
DESVARIEUX: So, Nancy, like you said in the video, you’re a mother of two and you cannot afford to even buy your children shoes. What made you take this risk?
SALGADO: You know, it was very risky. I was nervous at first. You know, I was like, oh my God, you know, I’m here. What am I going to do if he, like, tells me things back? You know. It was kind of scary. You know. It was just thinking over and over.
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. Just looking at, you know, remembering their faces, it was just–like, it was very powerful, you know, and knowing that, you know, my best friend, you know, God, is always with me. And he gave me that power, you know, that strength of saying, you know what? My voice needs to be heard, my voice needs to be rising.
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 [incompr.] living in.
DESVARIEUX: So what happened after you confronted the president?
SALGADO: It was very upsetting, very–I think it was one of the most obnoxious things I’ve been in through. I was going to get arrested. They gave me a ticket for interrupting, for, you know, interrupting the president. 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. We’re going to take your fingerprints. You know. And what I remember just telling them [incompr.] 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.
DESVARIEUX: Yeah. Do you still work at McDonald’s? And do you fear any sort of retaliation
SALGADO: Yes, I’m still currently working at McDonald’s. You know, there’s nothing going around that I know of. Would they be? I had some hours cut off. You know. Do I feel they’re going to do something against me? I do. You know. They haven’t done anything yet.
DESVARIEUX: And you said that you make $8.25 an hour and that’s just not a fair wage. What do you think is a fair wage, and why?
SALGADO: I think a fair wage is $15 an hour, because, you know, it’s a daily job where you have to come in with so much energy, you know, that you just don’t get out of anywhere. You know. I love my job. I love interacting with customers. I love talking with them, even though, like, it means I’m harder, I’m broken, you know, because sometimes I can’t provide a gallon of milk at the fridge. You know. But it takes a lot of energy, a lot of knowledge, a lot of multitask. You know? And I think that’s what we’re worth. You know. It’s like the CEOs make billions and billions a year. Then why can’t they provide enough for their employees?
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Well, Nancy, thank you so much for speaking out and also speaking with us here at The Real News.
SALGADO: Thank you for having me.
DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.