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Fast Food Workers Arrested During Today's Strike

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Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Across the nation thousands of fast food workers went on strike today to protest low wages, and many have been arrested. Organizers announced plans earlier this week to stage protests in cities across the country in an effort to raise awareness for and demand a $15 per hour minimum wage. According to USA Today, strikers from chains like McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King began gathering in over 100 cities starting at around 7 a.m. ET. Police have arrested 19 workers who sat on the street outside of a New York City McDonald's. Plus, "several dozen" fast food workers were arrested in Detroit.

The strikes are especially controversial because some have accused unions of paying workers $250-$500 to participate. Rob Green, the executive director of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, tells the New York Times that the sit-in component is dangerous: "Encouraging activities that put both restaurant workers and their customers in danger of physical harm is not only irresponsible, it's disturbing. Unions are calling it 'civil disobedience' when in reality, this choreographed activity is trespassing and it's illegal." Overall, fast food chains have said that these strikes "have hardly affected business" and that only a "handful of workers" have walked out in certain restaurants.

Fast food workers have been fighting for a higher wage for quite some time. According to the New York Times, today's protest marks the seventh one-day strike (in which workers have walked out on the job) since late 2012. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and a new study revealed that 40 percent of restaurant workers live in poverty. Check out some photos of the protests below:

· Fast Food Workers Strike, Arrests Made [USA Today]
· Workers Seeking Higher Wages Are Arrested [NYT]
· All Coverage of the Chains on Eater [-E-]
· All Protest Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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