NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fast food workers nationwide are taking a stand and staging their largest strike to date, calling for higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation.READ MORE: NYPD: Suspect Grabbed 11-Year-Old Girl's Hair, Tried To Choke Her At Stuyvesant Square Park
Several hundred protesters marched in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday morning. Some demonstrators also streamed into the McDonald’s across from the Empire State Building.
They were joined by elected officials, including City Councilwoman Letitia James and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Most entry-level fast food workers make the federal minimum wage, which is just over $7 an hour, amounting to about $15,000 a year. Workers are demanding more than double — $15 hour an hour at around $31,000 a year.
Fast food is a $200 billion a year industry, but many workers say they’re left practically starving.
“You have CEOs that are tripling their pay and you have the workers who make the money for these corporations living in poverty,” one striker said.
“It’s not only me, it’s hundreds and thousands of people across the city that is not surviving on minimum wage. It’s really not working,” striker and KFC worker Shanida Simon said.
“We are having families we are trying to support, so it’s important for us to stick together to get change,” striker Kaye Smith said.