A Facebook post from a Texas paramedic about New York City fast food workers making $15 an hour has people talking and is gaining widespread attention.
Jen Rushing also makes $15 an hour as a paramedic, KFOR News reports. But he didn’t take to Facebook to denounce other workers for fighting for the right to make the same amount. Instead, in his July 23 post, he pointed out that others should also be fighting for a living wage rather than fighting amongst themselves about who deserves more.
“Look, if any job is going to take up someone's life, it deserves a living wage,” Rushing wrote. “If a job exists and you have to hire someone to do it, they deserve a living wage. End of story.”
But, he said, he heard a lot of others complaining; arguing that “burger flippers” don’t deserve to make as much money as a paramedic or someone in another skilled field.
“These guys with no education and no skills think they deserve as much as us? F--- those guys,” was the argument Rushing said he heard from some of his colleagues.
“I'm a licensed electrician, I make $13/hr, f--- these burger flippers,” was another he said he read on Facebook.
That’s wasted energy, Rushing said.
“And that's exactly what the bosses want!” he wrote. “They want us fighting over who has the bigger pile of crumbs so we don't realize they made off with almost the whole damn cake.”
He went on in his post to point out that his company “cleared” $1.3 billion last year, yet many in the company are still trying to support families making $27,000 or less per year.
“Can they pay us more?” he wrote. “Absolutely. But why would they? No one’s making them.”
But something can be learned form the experience of the fast food workers in New York, he said.
“The workers in NY *made* them,” Rushing pointed out. “They fought for and won a living wage. So how incredibly petty and counterproductive is it to fuss that their pile of crumbs is bigger than ours? Put that energy elsewhere. Organize. Fight. Win.”
His post has now been shared on Facebook more than 41,000 times, received numerous comments, and been reported by various news outlets.
The minimum wage hike in New York City will apply to those workers working in fast food restaurant chains that have 30 or more locations nationally, according to NPR. It will raise the minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $15. The wage hike will take effect incrementally over the next three years.