Fast-food ProtestApproximately 400 protestors gathered on Thursday in Manhattan's Times Square with picket signs demanding union rights and a set $15 hourly wage. According to a spokesperson for the New York Police, some of the protestors sat in the middle of the street in Times Square, which culminated in their arrests on charges of disorderly conduct.

Fast-food workers from all the biggest chains gathered for the Times Square protest, which included employees from Burger King, Wendy's, Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald's. Workers in 150 other cities across the United States were expected to exit their jobs to take part in Thursday's nationwide event. Home-care worker union members also planned to join in the protests.

A 38-year-old woman who was participating in the demonstrations said that she wanted her children to have a better future. She said that she only earns $8 per hour working for McDonald's as a cook and she has two sons -- ages 14 and 18 -- whom she is helping to support. The mother, who was speaking with the assistance of a Spanish interpreter, said that she has gone into debt trying to pay for her son's college bills.

The Protest Movement Has Been Dubbed the "Fight for 15"

The protest movement has been dubbed the Fight for 15 and its lead organizer says that walkouts are being scheduled throughout the nation. In addition to raising the minimum hourly wage  for fast-food workers, another goal of the movement is to unionize the jobs of all fast-food workers from french fryers and burger flippers to cash register operators.

All Workers Have Inherent Rights in the United States

Fast-food workers and all other workers in the United States already have specific rights and privileges under the law. Depending on a worker's unique situation, those privileges may include a right to fair working conditions free of discrimination and harassment; a right to be paid at least the federal minimum wage for their labors; a right to time off work for sick leave and maternity leave; a right to workers' compensation benefits and more. Through the successful application of federal and state employment laws, workers can fight for these rights in court if they are being denied them on the job.

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