Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

April 12, 2014

Fact Check: Eric Cantor, the fry cook and the whopper

(Continued)

So I’m going to continue to try to support those coalitions, saying it’s the right thing to do. Obviously, the way to reach millions of people would be for Congress to pass a new federal minimum wage law, and so far at least, we have not seen support from Republicans in Congress for such a move, but I’m hoping that, as we keep on making the arguments out there, they come to recognize that it’s the right thing to do.

Summers never asks the president “why his hours were being cut to part time because of Obamacare.” If anything, this strikes us as a softball question from a friendly source who teed it up for the president to recite his talking points about the minimum wage.

Summers is not just any fry cook, but one who says he is associated with Wisconsin Jobs Now — an organization dedicated to fighting for “a living wage.” On its “about us” page, the organization says: “Organizing low wage workers in fast food and retail positions to improve pay.”

We found three news stories that featured Summers speaking at the state Capitol press conference on Jan. 21 to introduce Wisconsin’s Fair Minimum Wage Act - a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, just as Obama has urged Congress to do on a national level.

WPR, Jan. 22: Darnell Summers, 57, is a fast-food worker who makes minimum wage: $7.25 an hour. He’s part-time and not by choice: His employer, Popeye’s, trimmed employee’s hours to 28 per week. Summers said it’s hard to pay his bills, and he relies on FoodShare. “I pay $550 rent,” said Summers. “I make $640 a month. That’s not living. I am able-bodied; I should not have to depend on a Quest card so I can eat.”

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