Until recently, 22-year-old Naquasia LeGrand was sweeping floors, preparing food and serving customers as an employee for KFC for $7.25 an hour. That was just 15 months ago and before she was recruited by union organizers to join a campaign for higher pay.
Now, the Brooklyn native has become one of the most visible faces of a movement that has been demanding a $15 an hour wage and union representation for fast food workers.
She promoted the cause on “The Colbert Report,” joined a strategy session with congressional Democrats and visited President Barack Obama at the White House. “We never thought it would even get this far,” LeGrand said. “We’re just sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
When LeGrand was first approached by organizers of the group Fast Food Forward, her grandmother told her to stay away from unions. “She just heard ‘union’ and thought maybe, like, I was going to lose my job or something.”
“But you know, sometimes kids don’t listen to their grandmas.”
Since she joined the movement, LeGrand has organized several small fast-food protests and flash strikes in more than 100 cities across the country. Most weeks LeGrand works just 15 hours. She had a second job at another KFC but it closed.
LeGrand was one of many fast food workers invited to witness the president sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay $10.10 an hour. She also attended the House Democratic Retreat in Cambridge, Md. and spoke at a workshop on raising the minimum wage.
What do you think the minimum wage should be for fast food workers?
Will we see more young emerging leaders like LeGrand in future movements?
Sound off below!