MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Protesters in Madison have joined others across the world gathering to turn up the pressure on McDonald's and other fast-food chains to raise worker pay.
The demonstrations, planned in more than 30 countries Thursday, build on a campaign by unions to bring attention to the plight of low-wage workers and get the public behind the idea of a $15-an-hour wage.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports more than 40 people took part in pickets in the rain along East Washington Avenue.
Sean Lane says he spent two years in prison and submitted job applications to nearly 120 local businesses before he was hired by Taco Bell about a year ago. The 29-year-old is thankful for the job, but the $8.40-per-hour wage doesn't go far.
Labor organizers say protesters will turn out in the. U.S. and more than 30 other countries on Thursday in support of higher pay for workers at fast-food chains including McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell.
The demonstrations build on a campaign by unions to bring attention to the plight of low-wage workers and get the public behind the idea of a $15-an-hour wage. The businesses say such a wage would hurt their ability to create jobs.
The campaign comes as President Barack Obama works to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which translates to about $15,000 a year for a full-time job.
The protests have captured media attention at a time when the gap between the rich and poor has widened. Protest turnouts have varied widely, however.