NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s no secret that the cost of living in Nashville has increased. Now, many are having to choose between medium wages and paying their bills.

On September 16, seven women working for EventWorks Rentals organized a strike after writing a letter to management demanding a wage increase.

From the price tags in the check-out lines to the cost it takes to keep the lights on, or even the size of a rent check, the cost to live has gone up.

“I just cannot live in the city with 15 dollars an hour, that’s just not the case anymore,” explained Cecilia Prado with Worker’s Dignity Nashville.

The reality of a growing economy and inflation has been difficult for people like Ruth Ferfino.

“After the different deductions that they make, you end up making like $500 for those 40 hours, and that’s just not enough for us to be able to sustain ourselves,” said Ferfino, as Prado translated.

Ferfino, along with six other women, is currently on strike after the group claims they were promised a wage increase back in March; however, months later when they asked management about the increase in pay, they claim they were fired that same day.

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“We are paying rent, the houses that we live in are about $2,000 a month for rent usually […] I just feel like it’s unfair,” said Ferfino as she held back tears.

Worker’s Dignity is now handling their case, hoping to urge EventsWorks to hire the women back and increase their pay. Worker’s Dignity claims management fired most of the workers through individual text messages, except for one of them, who was told to speak with Human Resources.

The women are now asking for three demands to be met:

  1. To give all seven workers their jobs back
  2. To give all seven workers salary increases of $2/hour
  3. To hire 1 additional staff member in the plates and 1 in the cups areas within the dishes department

“That was not going to be enough for child care, that was not going to be enough to pay for the bills that they have, specifically the single mothers,” said Prado, as she explained why the pay increase is needed.

Demanding more money can easily become an overbearing challenge. Most financial experts say you should not spend more than a third of your income on housing. For the average one-bedroom apartment in Nashville, you would need to make almost $33 an hour.

“Workers are forming their own unions at faster rates than ever, it’s growing exponentially, with everything that’s happening with Starbucks, you’re seeing a lot of restaurant workers here, a lot of coffee shop workers that are unionizing, going for better wages,” explained Prado.

Prado has been advocating for fair rights in the workplace and explained it’s been an uphill battle she doesn’t see ending.

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The seven women filed an Unfair Labor Practice with the National Labor relations Board. News 2 reached out to Eventworks Rental for comment, while the owner told us their claims are factually not true, we have not received a formal statement as of Wednesday.