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Fast food workers stage walk out protests in Milwaukee

Demonstrators protesting low wages and the lack of union representation in the fast food industry chant and hold signs outside of a McDonald's restaurant near Times Square in New York, April 4, 2013. 
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Demonstrators protesting low wages and the lack of union representation in the fast food industry chant and hold signs outside of a McDonald's restaurant near Times Square in New York, April 4, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - For the third time since mid-May, advocates for fast food workers in Milwaukee are staging a protest Thursday for higher wages and union representation.

The Journal Sentinel said two employees of a McDonald’s near the Mayfair Mall walked off their jobs to join the Reverend Willie Brisco and his supporters in a street rally. Brisco is the head of the Milwaukee InnerCity Congregations Allied for Hope.

The rally was part of a day of demonstrations planned in several major U.S. cities. They’re demanding $15 an hour for fast food employees, plus the right to join unions without retaliation.

One of the workers who walked out Thursday morning, Mario Crowley, said it took him six years at his job to be paid $7.50 an hour.

The group “Rise Up Milwaukee” is planning a similar rally Thursday afternoon. That group held a demonstration in Milwaukee last month, where Congresswoman Gwen Moore said fast food places are not the “mom and pop” diners that many portray themselves to be.

The National Restaurant Association says fast food places have an average profit margin of 4 percent, so a higher minimum wage would hurt their ability to maintain jobs. 

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