Demonstrators rally at the Capitol pushing for higher minimum wage

Posted at 8:55 AM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-13 09:14:58-04

They came to be heard, "we work. We sweat. Put 15 on our check," chants Lisia Williams.

Police block road on South Capitol Avenue as demonstrators stand in the street of the Romney Building.

Williams along with hundreds of people have hopes of getting their demands met.

"If we don't get it. Shut it down," Williams chants. "If we don't get it. Shut it down."

They are asking for $15 to be set as the minimum wage across the state and country.

"When people work hard, they play by the rules, they work 40 hours a week," said Marge Robinson, Michigan president for Service Employees International Union. "They should be able to take care of their families. This is something that is happening all over the nation today."

She tells us that with the current wage families are barely making ends meet.

"You should be able to take care of your family, pay your rent, pay your utilities, pay your groceries, and be able to take care of your children," Robinson said.

After about an hour at the Capitol the group moved directly across the street to the Romney building, where Governor Snyder's offices are. They're hoping to give him or one of his representatives a list of demands.

"This is what we want and we're letting them know that we're not going to stand here and continue to vote for folks that continue to put people in office, who's not going to stand with us," Pastor W. J. Rideout of All God's People Church in Detroit said.

He wants lawmakers to stand with them and raise wages but they also want to make healthcare easily available and education affordable.

"I want them to know that we are serious," said Rideout. "When you see this crowd we are showing them that his is what democracy looks like."

But the Chamber of Commerce says they need to take a second and think about potential fallout.

"Be careful what you wish for and sometimes these policies look really good on paper but the real world consequences are quit dire," said Wendy Block with the Chamber of Commerce.

Consequences like having machines to replace workers.

"There simply would need to be cuts in some areas for employers to take on that added cost," Block said.

Cuts to be made like the firing of those who are chanting to see more money.