Wage protesters rally in Arizona, New Mexico

Protesters rally outside fast-food restaurants around Arizona, New Mexico

Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) -- Workers, labor activists and supporters are gathering at fast-food restaurants around Arizona and New Mexico as part of a national effort calling for higher wages.

About 30 protesters gathered before noon Thursday outside a McDonald's in the heart of Phoenix. In New Mexico, protesters braved snow and frigid temperatures as they rallied in Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

They held signs that read "Raise the Wage" and "Respect Workers."

Ileana Salinas is a case worker at a labor rights center in Phoenix. She says she sees many cases in which fast-food workers don't make enough money to get by.

Salinas says the problem is fast-food workers are no longer just young people in their first job. She says the economic recession has forced breadwinners to take such jobs to provide for their families.

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