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Mystery demonstrators, few McDonald's employees participate in protest

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Mystery demonstrators, few McDonald's employees participate in protest

By Tom Murray. CREATED Mar 18, 2014

MILWAUKEE - Demonstrators armed with a megaphone and signs crowded into a McDonald's restaurant on Milwaukee's north side Tuesday.

TODAY'S TMJ4 spoke with several protesters and found actually work for the fast food chain.  In fact, many would not answer simple questions about why they participated in the demonstration.
 
This protest follows a federal class-action lawsuit McDonald's is forcing employees to work off the clock, shaving hours off their time cards and not paying overtime.
 
One man looked for an organizer to provide an answer when asked,"why are you here today?".
 
"No comment," a woman said to a similar question.
 
Amere Graham, 19, said he works for a McDonald's restaurant on Capitol Drive in Milwaukee.  He said he is protesting because he is paid on a company issued debit card and incurs transaction charges each time he uses the card.
 
"Today, I came out because I'm trying to support my family," Graham said.  "We are paying to get paid."
 
Devonte Yates said he also works at McDonald's in Milwaukee and claims managers cheated him out of hourly pay.
 
"We might not get that break, but the manager will still go in and clock you out for a 30 minute break, even though you didn't actually take that break," Yates said.
 
Organizer Rosalynn Wolfe insists it is not misleading that most of the people who participated in the demonstration do not work for McDonald's.
 
"It's not misleading, because what you have is a lot people who don't have a job where you can come out and fight for social justice issues," Wolfe said.
 
McDonald's sent TODAY'S TMJ4 a written statement in response to the allegations of franchisee wrongdoing.
 
“McDonald’s and our independent owner-operators are each committed to undertaking a comprehensive investigation of the allegations and will take any necessary actions as they apply to our respective organizations," Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem, McDonald’s Global External Communications, said in the statement.  "McDonald’s restaurants remain open today-and every day-thanks to the teams of dedicated employees serving our customers.”