Fast-food workers in Phoenix joined others across the nation by walking off their jobs in protest of the national and state minimum wage laws. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Phoenix area fast-food workers took to the streets Thursday morning, joining others who walked off their jobs as part of a nationwide strike protesting minimum wage laws.
Organizers said the strike hit nearly 1,000 fast-food chains nationwide.
In Phoenix, workers at Del Taco, Taco Bell, Church's Chicken, Burger King, Wendy's, iHop and Panda Express were joined by state Sen. Steve Gallardo, state Rep. Juan Mendez and state Rep. Mark Cardenas and rights organizations in protesting the minimum wage.
The walk-off began at 10:15 a.m.
Workers are calling for the government to more than double the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Workers claim the fast-food industry is netting record profits while forcing its workers to rely on public assistance to make ends meet.
The national minimum wage is $7.25 while Arizona's is $7.80.
For a couple with two children, the sole provider who is working full time needs an hourly rate of $10.60 to support his family at the state's poverty level, while the state's living wage is $19.33.
The workers also want to be able to form a union to promote fair labor practices.
The National Restaurant Association said that 13 million Americans work in fast-food restaurants and that only 5 percent of restaurant workers make the minimum wage.
Many workers are part-time and half are teenagers.
The White House said, some members of Congress and economists are considering raising the federal minimum wage, which was last raised in 2009.
But most proposals seek a far more modest increase than the ones workers are asking for, with President Barack Obama wanting to boost it to $9 an hour.
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