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Thousands Of Fast Food Workers Walked Out Of Work To Protest Low Pay

Michael Thrasher
Wendy's Protest sign

John Moore/ Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: Protesters stage a demonstration near a Wendy's restaurant on May 18, 2013 in New York City. The demonstrators called for the fast food chain to join Florida's Fair Food Program designed to improve wages for tomato pickers in the state. Of the largest fast food corporations in the United States, Wendy's is the only one not participating in the program, according to protest organizers. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Thousands of fast-food workers across the country are striking for better wages today. 

Workers from companies including  McDonald's, Wendy's and Taco Bell  in New York, Chicago, Detroit, and other cities hope to force fast-food employers to pay them a "living wage" of $15 per hour, according to The Washington Post.

The one-day strike is backed by community groups and labor unions, including the  Service Employees International Union.

One of the New York strikers, McDonald's worker Kareem Starks, told Salon  he makes just $7.25 an hour. 

Starks said he is struggling to pay rent and support his two children while making minimum wage. 

In February, President Barack Obama called to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour, but lawmakers haven't taken any recent action. The federal minimum wage was last raised in 2007 to $7.25 per hour.

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson told Bloomberg TV last week that the company is an  “above minimum-wage employer.” 

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