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McDonald's Workers Protest in Bettendorf

Zach Wilson, WVIK News
McDonald's worker Jackie Pirtle speaks to other protesters as Secretary Julian Castro looks on.

Former Iowa Gubernatorial Candidate Cathy Glasson was the emcee of a protest in Bettendorf on Tuesday. McDonald’s workers from Des Moines are touring the state to fight for a $15 minimum wage and a union. The workers began a strike Monday and are protesting outside some of the presidential candidate forums happening this week throughout Iowa.

One McDonald’s worker, Jackie Pirtle, says they need to be paid a living wage, and receive quality benefits.

“We’ve got to get up and let the people know that we’re out here for the union, we’re out for the healthcare, we’re out for medicaid, we’re out for everything.”

Democratic Presidential candidate Julian Castro, who was in town for the forum, also joined them in their protest.

“I wanted to be here to say that we support your fight for $15 and a union, to make sure that more folks are able to provide for their families and enter the middle class. We’re also gonna support all of those other things that you and your family need to prosper in the 21st century: health care, good education, and good job opportunities.”

Another Presidential candidate, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, took part in the protest after her appearance at the forum.

After protesting in Des Moines on Monday and Bettendorf on Tuesday, the workers will head to Cedar Rapids to hold another rally on Wednesday.