Fast Food Strike: 'Fight For $15' An Hour Protests Pick Up In San Francisco

Heather Tooley

As the fast-food strike moves forward, more workers demanding $15 an hour are rallying for change in San Francisco. On Wednesday, protesters for higher minimum wages gathered outside a McDonald's in the Mission District.

CBS Local in San Francisco reports that organizers say over 230 cities and college campuses will see protests for higher wages and union for minimum wage workers. The campaign originated with the Service Employees International Union, which began in 2012.

There was also a fast food strike in front of a McDonald's in New York on Wednesday. More protests are planned.

McDonald's agreed to a starting salary of $1 above the local minimum wage rate, plus allow workers to accrue paid time off. It's the first national pay policy by the fast food chain. It's important to note that this applies strictly to company-owned stores, which is only 10 percent of the chain's 14,300 locations.

According to the report, McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's say they aren't in control of employment decisions at franchised restaurants. The SEIU organization is aiming to change all of this and is making McDonald's responsible for work conditions at franchised restaurants in several ways, not excluding lawsuits.

McDonald's wrote in an email statement that only "about 10 to 15 McDonald's workers out of about 800,000 have participated" in fast food strikes for higher wages.

CEO Steve Easterbrook sees McDonald's wage increase as "an initial step" and is eager to turn the chain into a "modern, progressive burger company."

SEIU organizers say the "Fight for $15" campaign is changing how society views low-wage jobs. This proves true when more than a dozen states and several cities increased minimum wage earnings in 2014. Wal-Mart recently announced pay raises after being the target of protestors demanding higher pay. Striking workers have also urged the retail giant to pay its workers at least $25,000 a year and be allowed to form a union, a report from Bloomberg said.

The unionization of low-wage employees is picking up in the nation, with changes like these being made. As SEIU organizers said, other rallies are forming in major cities like Chicago, Miami, and Washington. Fast food employees went on strike in New Zealand while others demonstrated in Japan and Finland, Bloomberg reports via MSN.

Think Progress reports that several other cities are considering pay increases for minimum wage workers. Those include Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.

The "Fight for $15" movement is gaining momentum, with the fast food strike drawing more attention.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]