CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Some fast food workers in Charlotte spent the lunch hour on a street corner, holding signs and chanting. They were part of a national protest in 100 cities across the country. They're asking for a big jump in pay and they want the ability to form a union.
"It is impossible to live on $7.25 an hour. That's what we're trying to explain to people here today," said McDonalds worker Rachel McCullough.
They would like to be making $15 per hour.
"I want people at home to know we're not just teens hoping for cash for the weekend. There are a lot of people my age who are trying to take care of their families," said Taco Bell cashier Tremaine Tribble.
He says his paycheck leaves him with nothing after he pays his rent and puts gas in his car.
They may have an ally in President Obama who supports an increase in minimum wage, though not to the extent the workers are asking. Others oppose their fight, including the National Restaurant Association which claims most fast food workers are actually happy and that it is labor unions who are staging the demonstrations.
"You cannot just be an employee and demand a salary based on your needs. You know, salaries have to be based on the economy and what the economy in the area can bear," said Angelo Amador with the Association.
McDonalds released a statement saying it is committed to providing employees with opportunities to succeed offering advanced placement opportunities and investing in training that helps workers learn practical and transferable business skills.
Workers say the protests will continue.