Protesters handcuffed as they call for higher fast-food pay

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04:  Protesters demanding higher wages and unionization for fast food workers block traffic near Times Square on September 4, 2014 in New York City. Protests are planned in more than 100 cities throughout the U.S. today, as workers demand higher wages.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) (Andrew Burton, 2014 Getty Images)
Fast Food Workers Organize National Day To Strike For Higher Wages (Andrew Burton, 2014 Getty Images)
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Updated: 9/04 8:59 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Police in New York and Detroit this morning have handcuffed several protesters who were blocking traffic. It's part of the latest protest aimed at getting McDonald's, Burger King and other fast-food companies to pay their workers at least $15 an hour.

Organizers had said they would engage in nonviolent civil disobedience to draw more attention to their cause.

By late this morning, protesters in some cities were standing in front of fast-food restaurants, chanting for higher pay and holding signs in English and Spanish.

Two dozen protesters were handcuffed in Detroit after they wouldn't move out of a street near a McDonald's restaurant. In Chicago, a couple of buses unloaded a group in front of a McDonald's. They chanted, "Stand up. Fight back" while about 100 people crowded on the sidewalk.

Union organizers said they expected thousands to show up to today's protests around the country.

The movement, which is backed financially by the Service Employees International Union and others, has gained national attention at a time when the wage gap between the poor and the rich has become a hot political issue. Many fast-food workers do not make much more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which adds up to about $15,000 a year for 40 hours a week.


 

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