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'Low Pay Is Not OK': Fast Food Workers Rise Up with Nationwide Protests

Actions expected in over 100 cities demanding end to poverty wages

- Common Dreams staff

Fast food workers and their supporters protest outside a McDonald's before dawn in Chicago as a day of similar actions kicked off Thursday. "On strike. Shut it down! Chicago is a union town!" read the twitter message attached to this photo. (Credit: @fightfor15 / Twitpic)Worker strikes and public protests outside fast food restaurant chains are kicking off across the country on Thursday as low-wage employees in the industry are demanding a federal living wage of $15 an hour.

Organizers for the day's events include the groups Low Pay Is Not OK, Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15:

Those groups are being supported by various local, regional and national workers' rights groups and labor organizations who all agree that low wages are keeping huge segments of the population trapped in poverty across all fifty states. The giant fast food companies, they say—who make huge profits while dodging taxes and paying their executives exorbitant salaries—can easily afford to pay more. More than that, according to economists, an increase to the federal minimum wage would bolster the economy as a whole.

Organizers created this tool to help individuals locate protests that might be in their area, and received support for their efforts from former U.S. Secretary of Labor and economist Robert Reich, who released this video to explain why workers are right to be making their demands for a $15 wage:

With actions expected in over 100 cities, the Twitter hashtag #FastFoodStrikes is being used to post updates and photos throughout the day:

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