Tourists went without food at D.C.’s top museums on Thursday, July 11 when dining workers walked out in a one-day strike. Skift reports the workers went on strike to demand the federally funded museums pay them a “living wage.”
The workers protested outside the National Air and Space Museum. The protest includes workers from the National Museum of American History and the space museum. The workers are employed by McDonald’s Corp. and Restaurant Associates, which operate the museums on the National Mall.
Workers are currently being paid the minimum wage of $8.25 and hour, but the workers are demanding a living wage, which is about $13.68 per hour for an employee with no children or $26.37 per hour for an employee with one child, McClatchy Washington Bureau reports.
A Smithsonian spokeswoman clarified that the protesters were not directly employed by the museum, but instead by private businesses like McDonald’s within the museum. Although about 100 protesters gathered, all of the restaurants in the museum were still fully staffed and none were forced to close.