Business

Fast Food Workers Arrested During Nation-Wide Strikes

Hundreds of fast food workers were arrested Thursday while protesting for higher wages and the right to unionize for the food service industry.

Fast Food Workers Arrested During Nation-Wide Strikes
Getty Images / Justin Sullivan
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More than 430 fast-food workers have been arrested following Monday's fast-food strike that included hundreds of workers nationwide. 

The workers have been brought in after carrying out acts of civil disobedience, and it's likely most will not face serious charges. The demonstrators are people who work at Burger King, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and many other restaurants, who are hoping to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour and unionize the industry.

Thursday's protests were part of an effort thats been ongoing for several years from groups that advocate for higher minimum wage for the food service industry.

And CNN says the movement has drawn attention to the plight of minimum wage workers and, though there hasn't been the industry change some still hope for, local governments have raised the minimum wage in a few places.  

An economy expert told Fortune that could be, at least in part, thanks to these protests: “They’re a visible force that’s captured a lot of attention in a way that’s compelling. They’ve been so effective at making it clear to people how difficult it is to live on [fast-food] wages. I don’t think that the [minimum wage] issue would’ve gained that much traction if [the fast-food workers] hadn’t been so determined.”

One protestor told KSHB she doubts the industry is ready to give in just yet.

DANA WHITMAN: "It's gonna take a lot more pressure on them is what it is. Right now they aren't listening and we need to put a lot more pressure on them and show them we aren't going away."

But they do have President Obama on their side when it comes to unionization: "If I were busting my butt in the service industry and wanted an honest day's pay for an honest days work, I'd join a union."

NBC quoted a statement from McDonald's that says the company would support a gradual minimum wage increase 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.”