U.S. News

U.S. fast-food workers to strike in 270 cities: organizers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. fast-food workers will strike in 270 cities on Tuesday in a protest for higher wages and union rights that they hope will catch the attention of candidates in 2016 elections, organizers said.

The walkouts will be followed by protests in 500 cities by low-wage workers in such sectors as fast food and home and child care, a statement by organizers of the Fight for $15 campaign said on Monday.

The protests and strikes are aimed at gaining candidates’ support heading into the 2016 election for a minimum wage of $15 an hour and union rights, it said.

Last December the group staged similar protests in some 200 cities.

The Fight for $15 campaign began in late 2012 and a major backer is the Service Employees International Union.

Many U.S. cities and municipalities have set a higher base rate than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

The strikes and protests will include workers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC and other restaurants, the statement said.

The scheduled protests will take place as McDonald’s is holding an investor meeting.

Glenn Spencer, vice president of the Workforce Freedom Initiative at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a blog that few workers actually would strike. He wrote that the protests are part of union leaders’ goal of signing up fast-food workers to boost union revenues.

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Bill Trott