The strike started early Thursday in Detroit and Atlanta, and hundreds of other cities are expected to participate in the protest. Workers at our most popular fast food restaurants are pushing for an increase in their minimum wages – from approximately $7 per hour to $15 per hour.
It’s unclear if the strike will actually have any impact on restaurant operations, as most, if not all restaurants, are expected to remain open.
In Detroit and New York City, dozens of fast food workers picketed outside of various McDonald’s locations, chanting rallying cries of "Raise the minimum wage!" and "Hey, hey, ho, ho, $7.40 has got to go."
The protests are being organized by labor advocates led by the Service Employees International Union, and along with the wage hike, are pushing for higher wages throughout the fast food industry in general and for the right to unionize without management reprisals.
One such striker is 27-year-old Tyeisha Batts, who works for $7.25 cents at a NYC Burger King. Batts has worked there for seven months. She said she hasn't been retaliated against but said her manager warned that all employees who strike would be turned away and have their shifts replaced.
"My boss took me off the schedule because she knows I'm participating," Batts said.
Last month, President Barack Obama said he would back a Senate measure to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, which is more than a dollar more than what the president initially proposed, but still well short of what many would consider to be a competitive wage for our minimum wage workers.