WASHINGTON — Fast-food workers and others in low-pay jobs on Thursday launched one-day strikes and protests across the United States demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage and union rights.
Organizers said workers at major chains like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Taco Bell walked off their jobs in more than 190 cities, from Los Angeles and Phoenix to Chicago, New York and Washington.
For the first time since fast-food workers began walkouts two years ago, they were joined by workers from convenience stores and markets in 24 cities, the Fight for $15 campaign said in a statement.
Employees in low-wage jobs and labor unions supporting them are pushing to raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 -- about double the current federal minimum of $7.25.
On Thursday, even McDonald's food-service workers under contract with the federal government went on strike at the restaurant in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington.
"At McDonald's we respect everyone's right to peacefully protest," the company said in a statement.
McDonald's said about 90% of its US restaurants are independently owned and operated by franchisees "who set wages according to job level and local and federal laws."
Copyright Agence France-Presse 2014