Vegas fast-food workers strike for 'living wage,' unions - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Vegas fast-food workers strike for 'living wage,' unions

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Protesters hold up a sign demanding an increase in their wage to $15 per hour on Aug. 29, 2013. (Shannon Moore/FOX5) Protesters hold up a sign demanding an increase in their wage to $15 per hour on Aug. 29, 2013. (Shannon Moore/FOX5)

A group of Las Vegas fast-food workers joined a nationwide strike Thursday, calling for what they called a "living wage" and the right to form a union.

The group dubbed "Fight for 15," referencing their demand of a wage of $15 per hour, said the walkout of local fast-food chains was planned as part of the formation of a union.

"I've been struggling to make rent and bills," said Salvador Hernandez, a McDonald's employee who participated in the protest Thursday morning. "I'm a college student. I'm not getting enough to pay for tuition, and those expenses."

The workers claimed they are being underpaid and essentially are unable to support their families on their wages, while the fast-food industry generates about $200 billion a year.

"McDonald's makes a lot of money, and that's because of the workers," Hernandez said. "They don't pay us well. That's what we're out here for."

However, in a statement to FOX5, McDonald's said the picture being painted by the protesters is not an accurate one, and that the restaurants remain open.

"McDonald's aims to offer competitive pay and benefits to our employees," the restaurant chain said in the statement. "We provide training and professional development for all of those who wish to take advantage of those opportunities."

The company said its history is filled with examples of people who took their first job at the restaurant and went on to successful careers inside and outside the company.

Workers at McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, Subway and Carl's Jr. are expected to participate in the protest. The group is expected to be joined by ProgressNow Nevada Action and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

The group said protests are planned in front of two McDonald's restaurants and a KFC location.

The walkout came after several similar events in seven U.S. cities earlier in the summer.

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