Minimum wage protests meant to coincide with GOP debate

Posted at 4:23 PM, Nov 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-10 17:09:13-05

MILWAUKEE — Protesters hoping for a bump in the nation's minimum wage rate used Tuesday's GOP debate as an opportunity for coordinated nationwide rallies.

Supporters are hoping to push the minimum wage issue into the forefront of the 2016 election.

Rally at McDonald's near 25th & Wisconsin

Fast food workers protested in Milwaukee, where the debate is being hosted. There were also fast food workers protesting in Chicago and the Detroit area.

Workers from 270 cities were expected to walk out on their jobs — demanding a living wage of $15/hour and the right to unionize.

At the same time, thousands of protesters are expected to rally Tuesday evening at the GOP Milwaukee debate outside of the Milwaukee Theatre.

The group representing fast food workers has been successful in influencing cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles to establish a minimum $15 wage.

FOX 17 asked longtime FOX News host Neil Cavuto, who is co-moderating the primetime debate, whether the protests nationwide will have any influence of questions asked to candidates.

“I think anything that’s topical will," he said Monday night. "I know that’s a cop out on my part, but I think anything that is a front-pressing issue… but we’re trying not to be influenced by the protest or gatherings or one cause over another."

Debate organizers said the questions during Tuesday night's debate will hinge heavily on jobs, taxes, salaries and the economy.

The 'under card' debate begins at 7 p.m. while the top-eight polling GOP candidates will debate beginning at 9 p.m. Both debates will air on FOX Business Network and will be streamed for free online.

FOX 17s Josh Sidorowicz is the only West Michigan reporter in Milwaukee and will have live reports from the debate throughout the week.