Fast-food strikes under way in Detroit, nationwide - KMSP-TV

Fast-food strikes under way in Detroit, nationwide

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Workers protest Thursday in front of a McDonald's on 8 Mile and Lahser in Detroit. Workers protest Thursday in front of a McDonald's on 8 Mile and Lahser in Detroit.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Fast-food workers in Michigan are taking part in walkouts as part of a push to get chains such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and Wendy's to pay workers higher wages.

In Detroit, a McDonald's on 8 Mile Road and Lahser was shut down Thursday morning as workers and others protested outside. Chanting "hey hey, ho ho, $7.40's got to go," the group then moved to a Church's Chicken location on E. Jefferson.

"McDonald's and Burger King are part of a $200 billion industry in this country so they can afford to pay their workers enough to have a decent life and feed their kids," said McDonald's employee Phillip Bailey.

A march and rally was also are planned downtown.

Click the video player to hear from fast-food workers.

Workers want $15 an hour, better working conditions and the right to unionize. The restaurant industry says higher wages would hurt job creation.

Rev. William Rideout says around 53,000 people in southeast Michigan work in fast-food restaurants. "This is the fastest growing retail in the world, but the lowest paid," said Rideout.

"McDonald's aims to offer competitive pay and benefits to our employees," McDonald's officials said in statement. "We provide training and professional development for all of those who wish to take advantage of those opportunities."

Similar protests are planned in several Michigan communities. They're part of a planned day of walkouts in cities around the country.

These aren't the first such strikes in Michigan. Workers at fast food restaurants walked off their jobs in May and July as part of the effort.

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