Tampa, Florida -- Low-wage workers across the country are clocking out and rising up. Workers in at least 58 cities will picket restaurants like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC on Thursday.
They're following in the footsteps of smaller strikes already this summer, calling for higher pay -- a $15-an-hour wage -- and the right to form a union without fearing retaliation.
That pay would be more than double the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. A restaurant industry spokesman says forcing the corporations to raise wages will mean fewer jobs and higher prices on their products. And that will particularly hurt people with lower incomes.
Right now, just over $9 an hour is the median pay for American fast-food workers. Add that up and you get around $18,500 a year -- nearly $5,000 below the poverty line.
And these aren't just teenagers in stepping-stone jobs. Nine out of every ten workers making less than $10 an hour are more than 20 years old.
As taxpayers, we support this as well. Workers making little as they do are often eligible for food stamps and Medicaid for their families.
Those are government programs we all pay for to make sure they can see a doctor and have enough to eat.
In Tampa, organizers are planning a peaceful protest starting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
It'll begin at the Wendy's on Fowler Avenue near University Mall and then head to a handful of other fast-food restaurants from there.