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Protesting fast-food workers arrested for blocking traffic

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Virginia State and Henrico Police officers responded to eastern Henrico Thursday after protesting fast-food workers took their message to the street, the middle of the street.

The demonstration at 1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike involved fast-food workers who pledged to walk off their jobs in an effort to raise their pay and improve their working conditions.

Henrico Police took photos and wrote down the names of people who took part in today's fast-food protests.

Police said 10 people were arrested and charged in connection to Thursday's demonstration:

  • Rey A. Arteaga Jr., 22
  • Tierra L. Bradley, 18
  • Nina S. Edwards, 24
  • Tanisha Green, 28
  • La’sheika M. Harris, 23
  • Katrina T. Lewis, 32
  • Rolanda R. Mcmillan, 52
  • Samuel L. Taylor, 23
  • Tavon K. Taylor, 24
  • Jarode S. Woodson, 27

Across the country, fast-food workers have made good on a promise of civil disobedience in protests aimed at boosting pay to $15 an hour and joining a union without retaliation.

There have been up to 30 arrests so far in Detroit and 19 in New York, according to police in both cities. Protesters were charged with disorderly conduct for blocking traffic.

The actions are the latest in a two-year effort by fast-food workers to get employers to pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour and allow them to form unions.

Currently, the median pay for fast-food workers is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That’s roughly $4,500 lower than the Census Bureau’s poverty threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

Thursday’s protests come more than a month after the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel ruled that McDonald’s is a joint employer that exerts substantial power over working conditions at its franchisees. The ruling, if upheld, means McDonald’s could be held liable for labor violations at its more than 12,000 franchisee-owned restaurants.

McDonald’s has contended that franchisees operate as independent businesses and that, therefore, it’s not liable.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.


  • B Addy

    Lets walk off the job in an effort to get paid more. So your in your effort to get paid more , you get fired. Things that make you go hmmm……..

  • Brenda

    They have nerve asking for that kind of money when they serve you half cooked french fries and either burnt or raw burgers! You need to EARN your money!

  • Ron Melancon

    Hey fast food workers. Don’t like your job get a life and go to school and change your job. I got news for you if they get 15 dollars an hour than lunch is going to cost over 10 dollars and we will no longer eat out and then you will be fired. In fact you need to be arrested for being so stupid to impead traffic

    • Steve

      Those stupid police out in the middle of the street having a photography session should go behind bars with the other losers. They should have kicked the things out the street and THEN took their picture (like that’s really going to do a lot of good). In some of the pictures the stupid cops are blocking the lanes of traffic a LOT worse than the other stupid things out in the street. If they are that stupid, to be out in the streets, then I say leave them alone and let the traveling folks run over them, knock them out of the way or WHATEVER they wish to do to them. THAT is purely what’s wrong with the world today! They cater to these dumb, trifling things and put the hardships, etc. on us normal folks, out here trying to make an honest and respecatable life in society.

  • MamaBear

    Went to sonics last night, 6 of us, to treat my granddaughter for her birthday, fries were cold, had to wait another 10 minutes for 5 orders of hot fries. Had to ask for napkins and condiments, given four napkins, and four packs of ketchup initially. Yep, these workers need to be paid more for lousy service. They weren’t busy at that time. Wonder how the service would have been if they had been busy. Won’t be spending my money there again.

  • who cares

    Should have run them over to make room for those who don’t have their heads up their butts and think that working at McDonalds they should get $15. Get an education and get a real job for $15 an hour

    • Steve

      You got that right. KNock a few of ’em out the way and maybe ….. just maybe …the others will have enough sense to move out the street by themselves, without any “help”!!!

  • ed

    I am a McDonald’s manager. 15/hr is nothing compared to what we go thru doing business everyday. I will say customer service, order accuracy and speed of service is an area that always need improvement. The people that make 7.25, some of them don’t take their job seriously. This is part of the reason they don’t. They feel the pay is a joke so, they take the job as one. It’s not the way to do business but its the truth.

    • Danny

      A pay raise should be a reward for working hard not as an incentive to try and get you to work hard. People that are bad employees for $7/hr will be bad employees for $15/hr.

    • Linda

      Then as a manger, you need do a better job of getting your employees in line. I am sick of every excuse in the book on these kids. You took the job, you accepted the pay, and the way to get a raise is to WORK for it not sit on your butt in the road! Fire all their worthless behinds and get people who know the meaning of working for something and having a little pride in doing it! I bust my butt for less then $15.00 an hour but at least I can say I do my job and do it well!!!

      • StarofVA

        No matter how hard you work in fast food, a raise is NEVER guaranteed. You can’t speak on what you don’t know.

  • harold

    really ed?can I ask why most if not all are black?their way to get things done is to break the law,loot,rob and take from others,nice.who is not sick of the excuse of failing to do anything to better yourself then asking for even more just because.Get out of the street and take obama up on all those free grants,get a education and a better job

  • Holly Von Wolf

    If you want to earn more money, then I suggest you get an education/actual job skills to make yourself valuable to employers. Otherwise, please stop whining and demanding something for nothing.

  • Becky

    Saw five photo of people sitting in the middle of Midlothian Turnpike, police protecting them; not arresting them. Yes, they were black, illegally justified,, and none were underfed. Seems the local, state and federal strong armed forces have effectively shut down, intimidated, and circumvented nationwide police enforcement. Does seem targeted that one segment of the population is so chosen, favored, profile protected, and has Media on speed dialed access 24/7 that can access the Feds on speed dial. These are the same Feds that don’t like or enforce laws.

    • Kim

      Bytch shut the phuck up!!! Nobody want to hear that bull shyt you talking. I just left McDonald’s and everybody in there was white.

      • Jessica

        I kind of have to agree with Kim. Why does it matter what color the protesters are anyway? I don’t agree with where they chose to protest – having grown up in Mechanicsville, that the turnpike is a pretty dangerous choice, but they DO have the right to a peaceful protest. Not only that, but standing in the middle of the road is not exactly something they can be arrested for.

        But on the subject of race, since you brought it up when it was completely unnecessary, whether or not you believe whites are superior to blacks or vice versa, answer this question: Would you rather have a group of black men and women protesting peacefully but impeding traffic in a medium sized town? Or have notorious murders like Bonnie and Clyde, Jack the Ripper, or Charles Manson, who were all white by the way, walking about the town?
        How about this one: Say you have a daughter. Would you rather her bring home a while man/woman who treats her like dirt, or a black man/woman who treats her like a queen?
        The color of your skin doesn’t matter. It’s who you are and your actions that do. I’m baffled as to why we’re still fighting this fight today. Dr. King, and President Lincoln are shaking their heads at us right now.

        On the topic of police: For some reason, the world DOES want to make everything about race to include the President. After the Michael Brown case where the entire town went through so much looting, rioting, chaos, arresting someone when they could simply protect them as they legally took advantage of their right to peacefully assemble/protest would just cause an uproar, possibly putting thousands of Mechanicsville residents in danger. That’s a risk police officers are having to carefully consider before acting these days. They’re walking on eggshells in some cases and we have idiots and racism to thank for it.

      • Marxist Pres

        Remember you dimwits elections have consequences. You voted for the communist in Chief…this man has done more to hurt black people that any president EVER. You voted for this man because you were retards and your behavior proves your stupidity. I hope you get fired so you realize that your a looser.

      • David

        marxist press ……. it is “you’re” not “your”. But you are sooooo smart, about as much as manalishit and fat athynz.

      • Becky

        CUSS all you want. YOU Won’t nullify MY RIGHTS and you opinion won’t ever Nullify mine.
        You just show your true colors and justify the perceptions.

      • athynz

        marxist press ……. it is “you’re” not “your”. But you are sooooo smart, about as much as manalishit and fat athynz.”

        As usual David you show your ignorance. What sort of twisted recognition are you seeking?

      • David

        athynz … you’re a loser (not your a loser). You are so hypocritical and disgraceful to call yourself a union man. Every organization has it’s slackers and perverts.

    • Becky

      Responding to the comment above: “Surely they are not all or mostly black as assumed here. SMH at the racist people in this city. So sad. But again, your opinions have no substance or clout!”
      The pictures indicated they were all black.
      Traffic was intentionally held up to allow Media Reporters and Photographers to get there to
      film and Publicize the Cause of the Day.
      Seems one segment of the population is on Media speed dial 24/7 and singled out for more
      and free publicity for any and all occasions. Count the articles for yourself.

  • reeltime

    Got caught up in traffic because of this which costs ME money. But I will say it put a smile on my face to see two of them being led away in nice bracelets (bling). If you would have done well in school, tried to make something of yourself, stop spitting out babies @ 15 maybe things would have turned out better. Enjoy your bologna sammie tonight.

  • SRo

    Shame on Chief Hazelton for allowing minimum workers to disturb traffic and impact those who take pride in their job and are working hard. I guess he was more concerned with public image over enforcing the law.

  • Chelsie

    You would think with the way our economy is, people would be happy to have a job with a steady income… However, a lot of the reason we are in this situation is because all of a sudden people expect to be given things most people only have because they worked hard for!

  • Veronicafivestar BlessingsHouse

    I believe there should be a pay raise for them; however, $15/hr is excessive! For the comments about get a real job, you can go far in the fast food industry if you choose too (I’m not knocking anyone working to take care of themselves and their families), we don’t know why people are working their but you shouldn’t be throwing judgements because if nobody was to work in fast food their wouldn’t be any fast food businesses open.

    • SRo

      Very soon there will be almost nobody working in fast food as technology is going to replace them with robots. McDonald’s drive thru is already using automated drink machines and someone has invented a burger making machine. They are going to protest themselves right out of a job. I would hope that if they were to even consider giving them $15 an hour they would do a better job making the food because right now they seem to have trouble getting a simple order correct.

  • Jan

    Some people choose fast food for different reasons,. Not everyone is capable of going to college. Many people have learning disabilities, therefore, they are limited as to how far they can go educationally. I’ve been in the Human services field, and I can say that there are many people with high school diplomas that got them because they went to school for twelve years, not because they learned anything, so it’s not nice to pass judgment. I think they should get better pay than what they get. Sure, some workers are rude, some don’t take the job serious, and there are some that really do show good customer service. It takes a team. Just as some customers are just as bad, I’ve witnessed it first hand as a customer.

    • SRo

      Minimum pay for minimum skills and minimum effort. Almost nobody who starts out making minimum wage stays at the wage for more that 6 months unless they are not meeting the expectations of their employer. Work hard and you will be rewarded, guaranteed!

      • StarofVA

        Bull💩, this is a fast food job. Sooo out of touch. Haha@ pay raise for hard work at McDonald’s in 6 months. Geez.

      • StarofVA

        And to expound on your statement about minimum skills, if there is a customer service representative ANYWHERE who hasn’t mastered fast food service should be considered as having minimum skills. The people who they have to deal with on a regular basis ate HORRIBLE. They act as if the workers aren’t human beings; and judging from the comments on this site that’s a vast majority of the river city.

  • Jessica

    Before I go on this rant, let me first say, I’m all for raising the minimum wage. I’m all for raising the minimum wage in fast food restaurants as well, but I certainly don’t think it should be raised to 15 an hour for fast food employees. A lot of these workers are either teenagers, or (unfortunately) buy, sell, or do drugs. Why? Because, let’s face it, while there are, in fact, some drug users who are highly and ridiculously intelligent with the ability to grow their status in the professional world, and obtain the skills necessary to thrive in that world, many of them were never taught many (or any) really marketable skills. It doesn’t matter who you blame. Blame is irrelevant at this point; it’s happening regardless.

    Now for the rant. Firstly, raising the minimum wage THAT much for teenagers is unnecessary. They live with mom and dad who are legally required to support them which includes clothing, food, and shelter and any necessities for their education until age 18. We know this. Some may pay bills like their car insurance and phone bill, some may have to pay for their car as well, and I agree this can teach fiscal responsibility, but many don’t have these responsibilities. Most teens pay for gas and spend their money on whatever they see and want when they go shopping or buy things for their significant other.
    Second, raising the minimum wage for those employees who DO participate in drug related, and/or other illegal activities is only contributing to their ability to do so and their ability to bring more of those items into the country. As a result more members of the community end up in jail and/or prison. Who pays for the majority of their necessities then? You guessed it! Taxpayers.
    The better solution to this issue, in my opinion of course, is to create a state or (better yet) nationwide pay scale, perhaps one similar to the one currently being used for servers/waiters/waitresses in restaurants. Workers at McDonald’s, other fast food restaurants, or similar positions should not (again, in my opinion) make as much money as those minimum wage employees who work for places such as colleges, businesses, medical offices, etc.. Pay should be based on the level of skills and knowledge of the field necessary to do the work, while still remaining as fair as possible. A student in law school working a minimum wage position in a law office, to me, is unacceptable, but only if their position requires a significant amount of skill and/or of the knowledge they’ve obtained while in law school. A mother or father working a minimum wage position in an office which requires training and working with things such as banking information or social security numbers? They’ve been working there over 10 years, are praised by every contact they speak with, and still only make minimum wage? Unacceptable. These two examples are the kinds of jobs which offer more room to grow within the business or company, and are the positions ADULTS with many more financial responsibilities and really NEED the money would be more likely to apply for rather than for the cashier position at their local McDonald’s.
    I realize the economy is terrible. I know how hard it is to make ends meet these days, and I’ve worked in restaurants to support my family. I couldn’t make it. Instead of whining about it, I got a second job and kept looking for one that DID offer me the ability to support them. These fast food places, along with several others I’ve neglected to mention, are starter jobs. They’re great for teenagers to get some experience while they’re VERY young, perhaps while volunteering, or participating in school clubs to boost their resume. They were never intended to fully support whole families regardless of the economy.
    NOW…IMAGINE HOW MUCH YOUR $1.00 McDouble WILL BE if they raised the minimum wage at fast food restaurants to $15.00/hr. I enjoy the occasional McDouble or chicken nuggets, and, come on! Who doesn’t savor the moment and feel like one of the luckiest people on the planet when they get that rare, piping hot sleeve of fresh, perfectly cooked McDonald’s fries? I’m guilty as charged on that one, but I’ll be darned if I would pay any more than I already do for food that is famous for being hit or miss where quality is concerned.

  • Robbie

    The last time I saw that many blacks protesting they were looting Tvs, wheels, tires, clothes, beer, cigarettes, wine and any thing else they could haul.

    • Kim

      Bytch shut the phuck up!!! Nobody want to hear that bull shyt you talking. I just left McDonald’s and everybody in there was white.

      • Manlishi

        ” I just left McDonald’s and everybody in there was white.” Maybe in the dining area. Kim makes a killa Quarter Pounder with cheese.

  • Marxist Pres

    I worked at Fast Food place a number of them. I liked my hard earned my checks but I got sick of it and I will NEVER work at another one of these slime pits again.

  • Kenny Powers

    They should have walked down to Armstrong H.S., and told the kids there. This is what happens to you when you drop out or goof off in school….7.25 and hour is way more than most of those losers deserve.

    • Steve

      Yep! Good idea! Shoulda, Coulda…. but DIDN’T!!! That would have made waaayyy too much sense and might have hurt someone’s feelings!!!!

  • Steve

    Look at all the trash they left evrywhere! I thought littering was illegal too. I guess the law will turn their heads on that too, for the low-life scums!!

  • Manlishi

    $7 per hour is called the Obama economic recovery. Why are so many people complaining that they get what they vote for?

    • Kim

      No you dumb bytch, I was in the dining area ordering my food, all of your white sisters and brothers was taking MY order punk bytch!!! You must work there or nowhere at all because your stupid a$$ on here all day talking about nothing!!!

  • Iceberg Slim

    For 400 years of picking cotton and being abused be whitey still living in poverty we people deserve a raise so we can drive 60000$ cars like the people that wear suits too.

    • Y. B. Normal

      “For 400 years of picking cotton and being abused be whitey still living in poverty we people deserve a raise”

      Stop voting for the Libocrits who have been keeping “you people” enslaved with their food stamp and UI stimulus package while the crackas keep getting richer than ever…

    • Chelsie

      I am going to simplify this as best I can…. YOU, YOURSELF at no point in life picked cotton because you were a slave! If people that have the same mindset as you took half as much time to educate and better themselves as you did bitching and moaning , then maybe you would have the things you want!
      Oh and I can let you in on a little secret ….if you really want to drive a $60,000 car like “the people who wear suits,” try doing what they did; put in the time to get an education, make sacrifices to better your education/career and focus on what you can do next to move up where you want to be in life!

  • chris

    Wow, I can’t even believe this has sparked a debate. Some people have really shown thier iggnorance in here. Still, I get it. Iggnorance is just a cover up for not being fully educated.
    I haven’t seen or heard of too many people from places like Chik-fil-a or Panara Bread out in the streets complaining about low wages. It’s because they are treated better and the management knows what they are doing by hiring quaility people. I will go to a Chik-fil-a before I ever go to McD’s. Even the workers at Chipolte’s are doing way better, because they work for a better company. No way should anyone serving up fries or flipping burgers make 15 dollars an hour. If they want to earn more then they need to do what everyone else in the United States has done. Get up off your *ss and get and education and experience. Then and only then, you might have something to complain about because you are not being paid for your worth. As usual, America’s lower class want’s something given to them instead of earning it. When does the insanity stop?

  • StarofVA

    If the people who frequent McDonald’s were sane and understood that wearing the uniform doesn’t make the workers beneath them I’d agree 15 was too much but I have witnessed what the treatment is like and they still have to be courteous. If I worked anywhere that customers could spit in my face or curse me out, I’d want my 15 too. Especially if I have a family and maybe a felony. Hi Gov.! They have a job fair next month.gtfoh

  • Tierra Bradley

    Hello my name is Tierra Bradley and I am the youngest protester who got arrested. I am a freshman in college and a very good worker. I did not protest to ask for hand me downs. I did it to stand up for the workers that are trying to raise a family on $7.25.

    For those who call us lazy etc. I have a question for you. Where do you work and how much do you get paid?? Now imagine if you had to raise a family on $7.25. Do you think you could do it?? If so that’s good but for those who know it would be a challenge could you imagine living your whole life knowing you’re living paycheck to paycheck. I don’t think people should be punished or publicly ridiculed for making a mistake as a child/teen. I have no children but I can feel the pain of young parents. It’s hard to look your child in the face and tell them that they can’t do something because there isn’t enough money. I respect everyones opinion and all I ask is that you respect ours. We are standing up and fighting because it needs to be done. Dr. King stood for equality and now we are integrated. Could you imagine if you had a teen daughter/son working in fast food making pennies on the dollar struggling everyday?? How would you feel if this was your life??

    We will not give up on our cause. We do believe that we will win. And we will.

    • Chelsie

      I understand that it may be hard for a family to live on that salary. However, in response to your comment, what type of example do you think protesting a job that is the only source of family income, is set for the children? Don’t you think it would be better to teach them to work hard, get an education and use that same determination to move up in their career? Isn’t it more rewarding and appreciated when you work hard and earn something, as opposed to being given it simply because other people have it? The problem with our country today is many people want to reap the benefits without truly earning them.

      • Tierra Bradley

        Yes and I understand where you are coming from but that’s why we are doing this now so that our children will have this future. We want to show them that at times it’s ok to go against what’s considered the right thing in order to get the right thing. But hopefully by time our children go to get jobs this fight will be won.

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