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Protests planned in 200 cities over fast food worker wages

NEW YORK, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Protests are planned for 200 U.S. cities on Thursdays, organizers of the fast food worker movement said

Labor organizers said one-day strikes were planned at fast food restaurants in 100 cities across the country and other protest events were planned for another 100 cities.

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Organizations of the events include Fast Food Forward, Fight for 15, USAction and United Students against Sweatshops. The primary focus of the protests are the low wages earned by restaurant workers.

The groups are advocating for a minimum wage of $15 per hour, more than twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The Service Employees International Union is also supporting the strike and demanding that workers be allowed to join unions without retaliation from restaurant owners.

The New York Times reported Monday that the movement began in New York City with the first-ever strike against fast food restaurants, which took place in November 2012 and involved about 200 workers at 20 city restaurants.

That expanded to about 100 restaurants where workers struck in late August.

"There's been pretty huge growth in one year. People understand that a one-day strike is not going to get them there. They understand that this needs to continue to grow," one of the organizers of Thursday's strikes, Kendall Fells, told the Times.

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National Restaurant Association officials said that more than doubling the pay at restaurant would force the business owners to cut workers and automate their businesses further.

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