NEW YORK (USA Today) — Hundreds of fast food workers walked off their jobs in dozens of U.S. cities on Thursday — reportedly forcing at least a few locations to temporarily close or re-staff with managers — as sympathetic protesters in several dozen countries joined in a united call for wages of $15 an hour and the right to form a union.
No violence was reported Thursday. At least 16 chains were being targeted, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC. The protest, targeting the $200 billion fast-food industry at a time of intense competition, is primarily aimed at directing consumer attention to the low wages of most fast-food workers. The one-day campaign, drawing particularly intense media attention in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, continues protests launched 18 months ago.
Protesters claim that one Burger King in Atlanta and another in Dorchester, Mass, were at least briefly closed during the strike, but Burger King spokesman Alix Salyers insists no Burger King stores were closed. Similarly, while McDonald’s officials insist that no McDonald’s restaurants were closed anywhere during the rally, protesters insist that several were.
In New York City, dozens of workers stood outside a McDonald’s nearby Penn Station demanding higher wages and the right to form a union. Protesters partially blocked some entrances to the restaurant where they temporarily stalled, but did not halt, sales.