NEW YORK (AP) — Fast-food workers and labor organizers are marching, waving signs and chanting in cities across the country amid a push for higher wages.
Organizers say walkouts are planned in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. Labor unions, worker advocacy groups and Democrats are hoping to build public support to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25, or about $15,000 a year for full-time work.
Protesters are calling for pay of $15 an hour, but the figure is seen more as a rallying point than a near-term possibility.
In New York City, about 100 protesters blew whistles and beat drums while marching into a McDonald’s at around 6:30 a.m. One startled customer grabbed his food and fled as they flooded the restaurant, while another didn’t look up from eating and reading amid their chants of “We can’t survive on $7.25!”
Community leaders took turns giving speeches for about 15 minutes until the police arrived and ordered protesters out of the store.
The National Restaurant Association says “relatively few” workers have participated in past actions. The industry lobbying group calls the demonstrations a “campaign engineered by national labor groups.”