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Fast Food Workers Plan Global Protest Over Wages

U.S. fast food workers seeking higher wages are planning a strike on Thursday that could affect thousands of restaurants across the country the workers say make huge profits from paying them workers a pittance.

The strike will be in 150 cities including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Miami. Labor organizers also say protesters will turn out in more than 30 other countries.

The strike will be the latest in a series of protests over the past 18 months in the United States that have targeted fast-food restaurant operators, including McDonald's Corp and Burger King Worldwide Inc.

Labor union members wearing gear of Sukiya fast-food beef-bowl restaurant hold placards to demand payment of 1,500 yen (15 USD) an hour for part-time jobs during a march in Tokyo on May 15, 2014.
Labor union members wearing gear of Sukiya fast-food beef-bowl restaurant hold placards to demand payment of 1,500 yen (15 USD) an hour for part-time jobs during a march in Tokyo on May 15, 2014. YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP - Getty Images

They come at a time when U.S. Democrats have been mounting efforts to raise the federal minimum wage ahead of this year's mid-term congressional elections, seeing income inequality as a powerful campaign issue.

Fast-food workers are seeking $15 an hour and the right to unionize without retaliation, union leaders said.

McDonald's, the world's biggest restaurant chain by revenue, and Burger King have defended their treatment of employees, saying they pay fare wages.

Jessica Davis, 25, a single mother of two who earns $8.98 an hour as a crew trainer at a Chicago McDonald's restaurant, said she needs more to make ends meet.

"I'm tired of making so much money for this company and they can't give me a decent wage and decent hours," said Davis, who has four years on the job but relies on family and public assistance. "I don't think we should have to live this way."

-- Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.