Fast food workers demonstrate for higher wages in Charlotte

Fast food workers and union organizers demonstrated Thursday morning in Charlotte, asking for higher wages as part of a nationwide effort to boost pay.

The group of about a dozen gathered at 6:30 a.m. in front of a Bojangles’ restaurant on The Plaza, holding signs reading “We are worth more” and “America can’t survive on $7.25.” There were no confrontations, and the event was peaceful.

The workers are seeking an increase of their hourly wages to $15. Organizers said they demonstrated in 160 cities across the U.S. on Thursday. Income inequality has become a more prominent political issue since the recession, with efforts to raise the minimum wage gaining traction with some Democrats.

Restaurants and trade groups have opposed the idea, which they say will result in job cuts. Steve Caldeira, CEO of the International Franchise Association, said the protests were union recruitment efforts “under the guise of trying to help the working poor.”

“Unions should find other ways to grow their membership instead of on the backs of local franchise business owners,” Caldeira said in a statement. Ely Portillo and Davie Hinshaw