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Fast-food fury as McDonald's workers push for better wages

Fast-food fury as McDonald's workers push for better wages
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Some McDonald’s employees are certainly not “lovin’ it” when it comes to their pay and they showed that by holding a big demonstration at the hamburger chain’s corporate campus near Chicago, Illinois.

More than 100 protesters were arrested as they demanded a minimum wage of $15 an hour – nearly double the average for US fast-food and counter workers – along with the right to join trade unions.

It was the latest in a series of rallies by low-wage restaurant and retail workers, and comes amid controversy over McDonald’s top bosses’ pay, including that of Chief Executive Don Thompson, who earned total compensation of $9.5 million dollars (6.95 million euros) last year.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said the company and its franchisees are monitoring the minimum wage debate, adding: “$15 is unrealistic, but we know that the minimum wage will increase over time.”

“It’s time for the McDonald’s Corporation… to stop pretending that it can’t boost pay for the people who make and serve their food,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), who was among those arrested at the protest in Oak Brook, Illinois.

A recent study found chief executives in the fast food industry earn – on average – 1,000 times what their workers do.

The current federally mandated minimum wage in the US is $7.25.

US President Barack Obama has been pushing politicians in Congress to support raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Washington, DC and 21 states have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum.

with Reuters