At 6:30 a.m. Thursday, workers at a McDonald's in Manhattan walked off the job.
Throughout the morning, they were joined by Burger King, Domino's, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Papa John's and other McDonald's workers throughout New York City in what became the first multi-restaurant strike by fast-food workers in U.S. history.
Many of New York's fast food workers earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour -- even after years of work -- and are forced to rely on public assistance to survive. These workers are striking for a living wage of $15 and the right to form a union.
Although the biggest fast food chains have raked in profits in recent years, their workers haven't seen an increase in pay.
"Yum! Brands, which runs Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, saw profits up 45 percent over the last four fiscal years, and McDonald's saw them up 130 percent. (After Walmart, Yum! Brands and McDonald's are the second and third-largest low-wage employers in the nation.) Yet those profits are not being passed on to workers ... who remain stuck at or barely above a stagnant minimum wage."
By risking their jobs and standing up to their employers, these workers are taking unprecedented steps to pull themselves out of poverty, off public assistance and into the middle class.