San Francisco May Day message focused on living wage

SAN FRAKGOICO (KGO) -- In San Francisco, those observing May Day were loud and purposeful, beginning with a rally and then a march from San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza to the city's Mission District.

"In San Francisco and the immigrant community, May Day is a holiday," said Olga Miranda, President of SEIU local 87.

Hence the festivities. Many are immigrant workers, but all of them are celebrating a raise in San Francisco's minimum wage from $11.05 to $12.25.

"It is never enough, not even $15 an hour but it is a step in the right direction," said Tim Paulson, the Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council.

Tell that to anyone working for minimum wage in San Francisco, who see everything else going up - especially rents.

Jessica Garcia works on an hourly salary. "It is very hard. I have two jobs and my husband has two jobs," said Garcia, who has a small child as well.

Garcia makes salads at Chez Julian on Bush Street, a small business that is hiring.

On the other side of this issue, owner Julian Chang, says he would love to have even more people. He himself is an immigrant from France. But he says that in a state where the minimum wage is $9, San Francisco's $12.25 is too steep. "It is hard. For small business, it is very hard."

It's hard to make ends meet. It's hard to provide the jobs that make the ends meet.

"We've gotta' do it. We have a little one," Garcia explains.

For many, it is all about the next generation, especially on May Day.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.