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Local employees, activists react to McDonald's pushing employees to public assistance

Milwaukee -- Workers say if they were paid more they wouldn't have to rely on public assistance.  Opponents say fast food jobs aren't a career.  Either way, workers are upset that the company they work for could be steering workers onto public assistance.

\"I struggled everyday trying to make ends meet,\"  Ines White said.

She works at a local McDonald's.   She makes $7.35 an hour.  Her hours range from 25 to 30 a week.

\"Instead of helping us by giving us higher wages they rather say go to the Federal, even though they're a billion dollar corproation.\"

She's referring the McResource Line that helps employees with personal issues like childcare, finances, or housing.  

Many times it refers employees to federal or state public assistance programs.

In some instances - like this recorded phone call from the website Low Pay Is Not Ok - they ask people if they are aware of federal or state  progams.

\"You can ask about things like food pantries, are you on SNAP? No what is that? SNAP is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, food stamps.\"

Michael Wilder organizes Raise Up M-K-E fast food protests that demand higher wages.

\"Workers want to be able to independently support themselves,\" Wilder says.  \"A lot of workers that have been directed towards public assistance, a lot of them are like, if that's what I need to do to survive, I'll do it but a lot of them want to be able to survive on their own.\"

McDonalds responded defending the mcresource line - saying in part:

\"The fact is that the McResource Line is intended to be a free, confidential service to help employees and their families get answers to a variety of questions or provide resources on a variety of topics, including housing, child care, transportation, grief, elder care, education and more.\"

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