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Topics: Labor Unions

Fast-food workers striking for wage increase

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Politics,Labor unions,Barack Obama,Jobs,Labor,PennAve,Joseph Lawler,Economy,SEIU,Minimum Wage,McDonalds

Workers protested fast-food restaurants across the U.S. Thursday in the latest effort to push for higher wages.

The Service Employees International Union, the labor union providing backing for the protests, expected them to be held in 150 cities, at restaurants such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC.

The campaign was partly organized through Twitter using the hashtags #StrikeFastFood and #fightfor15, a reference to the protesters' demands for a $15 hourly wage. The average hourly wage for a fast-food cook, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is just over $9.

Thursday's protests were supposed to ramp up from previous protests by involving both strikes and civil disobedience by participants.

Using social media, protesters reported getting arrested while striking businesses in New York City, Chicago and other cities Thursday morning.

Congressional Democrats, who are expected to push for a measure to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 when Congress returns next week, expressed support for the striking workers.

Among other lawmakers, Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., said that he stood with the protesters, and said that "raising the minimum wage is a win-win-win situation" for workers, businesses and the economy.

Referring to recent protests by fast-food workers, President Obama said in a speech at an AFL-CIO event on Labor Day, "I promise you, I share that frustration."

He added: "If I were busting my butt in the service industry and wanted an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, I’d join a union."

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