Image: Protesters march outside McDonald's in Los Angeles
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

TODAY   |  December 05, 2013

Fast food workers to protest in 100 cities

Some fast food workers are expected to walk off their jobs and join rallies in 100 cities in support of higher wages. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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>>> well, workers are scheduled to walk off the job in 100 cities across the country. the movement is a part of a growing company to push for higher wages. nbc's john jiang outside mcdonald's in chicago where protesters are gathering. john, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, savannah. the crowd here growing in numbers and volume just in the last few minutes. nationwide, organizers hope this will be their biggest day yet in their campaign to focus on ways they say are way too low. amber is the sting i single mom of a 2-year-old and has a second on the way. trying to support a growing family on $8.40 an hour at wendy's means tough choices.

>> i need work pants, work shoes. i have to decide am i going to get that or am i going to get my bus fare to go to work.

>> reporter: today from coast-to-coast, organizers are stage strikes by fast food workers and support rallies at 84 more demanding a $15 an hour wage. industry officials say that would be a job killer.

>> doubling the base wage, the starting wage and of course would dramatically increase the cost of operations for the business owner . prices would have to go up and less jobs would be created.

>> make our waejs supersized.

>> reporter: federal men mum wage $7.25 an hour hasn't been raised in four years.

>> you should probably have men mum wage actually raids not just fast food workers.

>> reporter: for some $15 bucks is too much.

>> the counter service and maybe it's not worth $15 an hour.

>> reporter: amber stallings needs food stamps and medicaid to get by. she says she and her dough workers will the foundation of a multi-billion industry.

>> if it wasn't for workers and shift managers and things like that, it would be a business. there would be nobody to run the store.

>> if you had that extra money, what difference would it make?

>> we probably wouldn't have everything we wanted. but we wouldn't be struggling.

>> reporter: here there are other cities around the country, these protesters will be moving from restaurant to restaurant all day long. savannah.

>> all right. john yang on the protest leans in chicago. thank you.