Politics & Government

Presidential hopefuls to lead SC workers march

Three presidential hopefuls will be marching with workers in Charleston this weekend during a strike for higher wages, according to a statement from the Fight for $15 campaign.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey will join the lines with workers fighting sexual harassment, low pay and violence in the work place, according to the statement from the Fight for $15 campaign.

The march will begin after O’Rourke arrives at a Charleston McDonald’s on Savannah Highway around 8:45 a.m., according to a statement from O’Rourke’s campaign. O’Rourke will address the crowd at the fast food restaurant before taking to the streets.

“Beto recognizes that our economy isn’t working for too many Americans — particularly those in communities of color,” a statement from the campaign read. “We need to confront that inequality today by ensuring that every workplace is free of sexual harassment and violence and that every worker can earn enough to support themselves and their families.”

Booker is scheduled to appear at the march at 10 a.m., according to a statement from his campaign. It is unclear if he will speak.

Buttigieg will be joining the strikers later in that morning in front of the Charleston Music Hall, where he will also speak, his campaign confirmed.

“Proud to stand with McDonald’s workers in the #Fightfor15 and a union,” Buttigieg tweeted last month.

The march will take place hours before Buttigieg, Booker and O’Rourke appear at a candidate forum hosted by the Black Economic Alliance in Charleston. They will be accompanied on stage by Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

The Fight for $15 campaign is a national workers’ rights group that’s pushed for years to increase the minimum wage for $15 an hour. Recently, they’ve been known for bringing presidential hopefuls into their campaign, including getting Sen. Bernie Sanders to march with workers in Iowa.

This isn’t the first time the Fight for $15 campaign scheduled a strike in South Carolina on the day presidential contenders are in town. In 2016, the group hosted a strike hours before Democrats descended on the city for a 2016 presidential debate.

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Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.