EXPOSITION PARK (CBSLA.com) —  Police said 10 protestors were arrested Thursday during a march downtown for higher wages.

About 300 employees and supporters in Los Angeles, as well as in more than 150 other cities, were taking part in sit-ins at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger Kings and other chain locations as a more “militant” phase of the “Fight for $15” movement.

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“Fight for $15” pushes for a $15 hourly wage for fast-food workers and the ability to unionize.

“I think that this cause is really important,” McDonald’s employee Nathan Gilmore said. “I think that it will help to support families all over the nation.”

“It’s been really rough. We’ve been having to rely on public assistance, parents, family, friends, you know, just to get by,” McDonald’s employee Jemere Calhoun said.

Burger King and McDonald’s released the following statements regarding the protest:

“Burger King Corp. (BKC) respects the rights of all workers; however BKC does not make scheduling, wage or other employment-related decisions for the franchises who independently own and operate almost 100 percent of Burger King restaurants.”

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“At McDonald’s we respect everyone’s rights to peacefully protest. The topic of minimum wage goes well beyond McDonald’s- it affects our country’s entire workforce. McDonald’s and our independent franchisees support paying our valued employees fair wages aligned with a competitive marketplace. We believe that any minimum wage increase should be implemented over time so that the impact on owners of small and medium-sized businesses – like the ones who own and operate the majority of our restaurants – is manageable.  Additionally, we believe that any increase needs to be considered in a broad context, one that considers, for example, the impact of the Affordable Care Act and its definition of “full time” employment, as well as the treatment, from a tax perspective, of investments made by businesses owners.”

California raised its minimum wage from $8 an hour to $9 in July, which will increase to $10 in 2016. Earlier this week, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti called for a citywide wage hike to $13.25 by 2017.

The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour.


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