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A report released last week shows that the fast-food industry costs American taxpayers nearly $7 billion annually because its jobs pay so little that 52 percent of fast food workers are forced to enroll their families in public assistance programs. In the companion report by the National Employment Law Project, McDonald’s front-line workers receive $1.2 billion in public assistance, such as Medicaid, TANF and Foodstamps. In response to these reports, a handful of fast-food workers dressed as a familiar fast-food clown, accompanied by a dozen other fast-food workers and community people delivered an invoice to McDonald’s locations all over the St. Louis area, for $1.2 billion stating if McDonald’s paid their workers more they would not have to rely on public assistance.

Ben and David Patterson, a couple clowns, are forced to rely on food stamps because their low-wage jobs don’t pay them enough to feed themselves. David, who has worked for McDonald’s for two years, said, “I went on strike because I want to feed my family without government assistance, so we don't have to depend on other people and still struggle.” Last September, after David went on strike his hours were cut from almost 40, to 4. Clergy, community members, and other fast-food workers galvanized enough support for the owner of his McDonald’s to come out and guarantee that his hours would be restored. “This has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I had fun and am still having fun with it. I'm a part of this campaign all the way, because we can't survive on 7.35.”  

Workers at the McDonald's saw the clowns and invoice and decided to join the movement for $15 and a union. They'll soon be card carryin', 'fro wearin members of St. Louis Can't Survive on $7.35!

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