Protesters in Broward County took to the streets Thursday calling for Amendment 2 on the ballot to pass, which will eventually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Sarah Thomas and several others protested in Broward County Thursday. She told NBC 6 she’s been working at Port Everglades for about eight years and makes $13.47 an hour.
“It’s just not enough money to make ends meet,” she said.
Thomas said she has no money saved and can barely pay her bills since her hours have been reduced during the pandemic.
“We were caught off guard when it suddenly happened, so a lot of people work paycheck to paycheck,” she said. “So money is very scarce for a lot of people as well as myself.”
If Amendment 2 passes, Florida’s minimum wage would jump from $8.56 an hour to $10 an hour next year. Then, it would go up a dollar every year until it reaches $15 in 2026.
“The problem is this has not been discussed far enough,” said Debra Case. She owns Ocean Alley restaurant in Hollywood and feels more details need to be worked out first.
“We haven’t given anybody the opportunity to discuss it at the levels of how it truly affects the individual industries,” Case said.
Overtime, the union representing the workers say nearly 2.5 million people in the state will receive a raise that would close the wage gap and help tackle racial and gender inequalities.
Thomas said the raise will also help businesses.
“It shouldn’t be a big strain for them because if we make more money, we have to spend more money,” Thomas said.
Case said the current minimum wage gives the employer options.
“That price range is a step in to a position job,” she said. “That’s a training, that’s an intern or educational level. Then, you go up from there always. Nobody ever stays at that, that step in to the job price. It’s minimum wage for a reason.”
Thomas said she’s tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
“It would help me bill wise to pay my bills and not be in fear of being put out of my home or having to borrow money,” she said.