Some fast-food workers in about 100 cities will walk off the job on Thursday, in a protest organized by Service Employees International and other unions, and other worker advocacy groups like Fast Food Forward in New York City.
The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour adds up to $15,080 a year — $8,500 below the poverty line. Often it's not just teens working part-time jobs, but older people manning drive-through windows and counters.
The first national fast-food protest was last August, and garnered the support of Congressman Al Green, state Rep. Armando Walle and state Sen. Sylvia Garcia. But the National Restaurant Association says the demonstrations are engineered by national labor groups. Fast-food workers are seen as difficult to organize, with the industry's high turnover rates.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised a vote on a possible hike in the federal minimum wage by the end of the year.