Fast food workers demand higher wages, union rights in Chicago protests

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CHICAGO -- Organizers say it is the largest strike ever to hit the fast-food industry in the U.S.

The goal is to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour and win union rights and their target is industry-leader and Oak Brook-based McDonalds.

Fast-food workers in Chicago and those in 269 other cities are speaking out for better wages. In Illinois 2.5 million people make less than $15 an hour according to organizers who protested at  two area McDonald's earlier today.

In response, McDonald’s issued a statement that in part reads,  McDonald's and our independent franchisees support paying our valued employees fair wages aligned with a competitive marketplace. We believe that any minimum wage increase should be implemented over time so that the impact on owners of small and medium-sized businesses - like the ones who own and operate the majority of our restaurants - is manageable.  We respect people's right to peacefully protest....

Opponents of the Fight for 15 movement say these service industry jobs are meant as starter jobs and such wages if ever reached would be passed along to consumers.