Campaign for higher pay propels fast food worker from NYC to 'Colbert Report,' White House

The Associated Press

Naquasia LeGrand speaks during an interview on Thursday Feb. 27, 2014 in New York. A few months ago, LeGrand was just another worker on the line at KFC, boxing up chicken and cole slaw in hopes of earning enough to live in one of the nation's most expensive cities. But since being recruited by union organizers, the 22-year-old from south Brooklyn has become one of the most visible faces of a national movement demanding $15-an-hour wages for fast-food workers. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

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By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Naquasia (Nuh-QUAY-zhuh) LeGrand was frying chicken, sweeping floors and serving customers for $7.25 an hour when she was recruited by union organizers to join a campaign for higher pay.

In the 15 months since, the 22-year-old KFC employee from Brooklyn has become one of the most visible faces of a movement that has staged strikes across the country demanding a $15-an-hour wage 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.

Union officials say LeGrand deserves credit for helping build the campaign into a national movement in more than 100 cities. She still works 15 hours a week at KFC.

But representatives of the fast-food industry say the salary demands are unrealistic.

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