Essay by Joshua Jones, Jr Photography by Alfonso Tobar
Low Wage Work: No Way to Escape
I support the Fight for $15 because I once worked in fast food, while doing babysitting as a side job. I did what I had to do twenty years ago to make ends meet for myself, and I ran an in-home daycare to help moms struggling to raise children. It was a way of life for many of us in the 90s. The children I helped raise are all grown now. They work and have children of their own, and now they too struggle while working for minimum wage. It is obvious that these low income issues still exist for so many working parents today.
I know the struggle. When you get paid you have household expenses like rent, food, lights. You have childcare costs and transportation costs like car payments, insurance, and maintenance. Expenses are also continuously increasing, even the price of the Sunday paper. And we all know about the increase in taxes. You always end up living check to check. And if you make minimum wage, the long hours necessary leave no time for parents to return to school to further their education. It is like a black hole, with no way to escape.
I know that many families support the Fight for $15, but they are too busy working to get on the bus. That is why I made the effort to ride the bus to Raleigh, even in the cold and the rain. We mean business. This has been going on for too long and it is time for a change.
Joshua Jones, Jr lives in Burlington, NC and is the author of three books, including his latest book, “Real Talk: How Friends and Family Disappear” available at lulu.com.
Alfonso Tobar is a photographer living in Burlington, NC. His work can be seen at http://www.tumblr.com/blog/latinimage and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.