Arrests start in fast-food worker strike

There have been up to 30 arrests so far in Detroit and 19 in New York., according to police in both cities. Protesters were charged with disorderly conduct for blocking traffic.

"We will be ready for anything," said Public Information Officer Adam Madera of the Detroit Police Department, when asked if he expected more arrests throughout the day.

Organizers say that fast-food workers at McDonald's (MCD), Burger King (BKW), Wendy's (WEN) and KFC, which is owned by Yum! Brands (YUM), are walking off the job in dozens of cities.

The actions are the latest in a two-year effort by fast-food workers to get employers to pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour and allow them to form unions.

The average pay for a food prep and service worker is $8.74 an hour, or about $18,000 a year. That's roughly $5,000 lower than the Census Bureau's poverty threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

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