NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Employees of some of the largest fast food chains are demanding higher wages and the right to unionize without interference.
Workers of several eateries including McDonald's, Taco Bell, KFC and Burger King picketed across the city Thursday, fighting for a living wage of $15 an hour.
1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg reports
"We are proud to be supporting the hard-working fast food workers who are standing up for their rights," Camille Rivera, executive director of United NY, said in a statement. "The companies they work for make billions, and yet the workers have a hard time putting food on the table and having a roof over their heads. It is unacceptable for hard-working New Yorkers to be on food stamps while serving food for some of the biggest companies in the world."
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said the city needs to "stand united" and support fast food workers.
"This is the moment for New York City to turn the corner after a decade of rising income inequality. We need nothing less than a citywide movement to uplift New Yorkers struggling to make their way into the middle class," he said in a statement.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn agreed.
"All working New Yorkers deserve a living wage and the opportunity to join the middle class," she said in a statement. "I am behind the city's fast food workers who are standing up for this right and fighting for fair pay and an economy that works for everyone."
Workers striking outside a Burger King on 34th Street said they slave every day for mere scraps from an industry that rakes in billions of dollars a year, 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg reported.
"McDonald's makes $29 billion and we can't get a raise?" one worker said.
"You cannot survive on $7.25 in New York," one man said.
"All I'm asking for is fair wages for the amount of work we put in," another man said.
"People gotta take care of their kids, pay rent, put food on the table and $7.25 is just not making it for some of us," one woman said.
More demonstrations were to be held throughout the day at several locations including Penn Station, downtown Brooklyn and Times Square.
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