ITHACA, N.Y. — Windchill left Ithaca feeling just above zero degrees Monday, but that didn’t keep dozens of activists from rallying for increased wages for fast food and all other workers in Tompkins County.

[do_widget id= text-55 ]

Beginning around 3:30 p.m., people showed up on street corners — in downtown Ithaca, on South Meadow Street, at East Hill Plaza, Elmira Road and Green Street — waving picket signs and handing out informational fliers about the phasing in of the new state minimum wage for fast food restaurant employees.

Related: 15 vigils Monday afternoon call for $15 an hour wage at fast food restaurants in Tompkins

As of Dec. 31, 2015, the minimum wage for those workers was raised to $9.75. For the next several years, minimum wage for fast food workers will raise $1 per year until it hits $15 an hour on July 1, 2021, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

The Tompkins County Workers’ Center released a statement that said all workers deserve to be paid at least a living wage — $14.34 in Tompkins County — because it lifts families out of poverty while simultaneously boosting the economy.

“No one who works all day and all week should find on the weekend that they don’t have enough in their pocket to support themselves and their families,” Pete Meyers, TCWC coordinator, said in an email. “A full time job should not be a route to poverty, but a path to opportunity.”

Here are 10 photos taken throughout Ithaca during the rallies: 


[do_widget id= text-61 ]

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.