Fast food workers in 50 cities across the U.S. are walking off the job Thursday as they protest for higher wages.Organizers say it will be the largest strike to hit the $200 billion fast-food industry.
Workers from fast food giants McDonald's (MCD,Fortune 500), Burger King (BKW) Wendy's(WEN) and Yum Brands (YUM, Fortune 500)-owned KFC are calling on their employers to pay them a minimum of $15 an hour and allow them to form unions without retaliation.
Currently, the median pay for the fast food workers across the country is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That's roughly $4,500 lower than Census Bureau's poverty income threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.
Strikes are planned in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York and dozens of other cities.
Related: Worker wages: Wendy's vs. Wal-Mart vs. Costco
The campaign, organized by a coalition of labor, community and clergy groups called Fast Food Forward, has been building momentum since last November, when the protests first hit the national spotlight.
Organizers say retail workers from stores such as Macy's (M, Fortune 500), Sears(SHLD, Fortune 500), Walgreens (WAG, Fortune 500) and L Brands' (LTD,Fortune 500) Victoria's Secret will also go on strike Thursday in some cities.