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Fast-food strikes return amid push for wage hikes



PITTSBURGH - Dozens of fast-food workers went on strike in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday morning -- joining other low-wage workers and labor organizers across the country in support of higher wages.

Organizers say walkouts were planned in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities.

Workers are calling for a wage of $15 an hour and the right to form a union. They say the current minimum wage is not livable.

 “I cannot live off $7.25. I’m out. I got a child on the way and everything so it’s going to be hard because it’s hard now,” said McDonald’s employee Fatemia Ellis.

 “Minimum wage you are supposed to be able to support a family with it and unfortunately people can’t do that on current minimum wage so I am in favor of raising it,” said supporter Selina Briener. 

The actions are part of a push by labor unions, worker advocacy groups and Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25. President Obama says he would back a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour, and on Wednesday addressed income equality in a speech.

The speech coincided with growing national and international attention to economic disparities.

The Restaurant Association said raising wages to the proposed $15 an hour would cripple business’ abilities to hire low-skilled workers.