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Hundreds In San Diego Join ‘Fight For $15’ Protests

Reported by Andrew Bowen

Hundreds of people — including Uber drivers and home care and child care employees — marched in downtown San Diego Tuesday as part of a national day of protest for workers rights.

Earlier in the day, demonstrators rallied outside the San Diego International Airport and a McDonald's in Barrio Logan. They chanted "Trabajadores unidos jamás serán vencidos!" — in English, “Workers united will never be defeated."

The demonstrators called for a $15 federal minimum wage. But they also spoke out about causes they believe are in jeopardy under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, including LGBT rights, immigrant rights, Standing Rock and Black Lives Matter.

"Galvanized by the election and frustrated with an economy that is rigged for the rich ... workers organized the massive demonstrations to mark the fourth anniversary of the Fight for $15, a movement that has won raises for 22 million Americans since it started in 2012," organizers said in a statement.

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Fight for 15 protesters march at San Diego International Airport, Nov. 29, 2016.

California's minimum wage will reach $15 by 2022. At the airport rally state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said California has done what Washington won’t, and will stand in solidarity with national protesters.

"California has always led the way, and we will continue to lead the way," Gonzalez said. "But it’s going to take each and every one of us to fight for that."

Despite California's leadership on the issue, airport workers said they want raises sooner. The current state minimum wage is $10.50.

"That means that we have to get assistance to help feed our families, from the state or whoever we can get it from, because we don’t make enough to support ourselves," said Elton Pendleton, who works in concessions at the airport.

The minimum wage in San Diego will rise to $11.50 in January.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

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