Fast-food workers across nation strike for better wages - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fast-food workers across nation strike for better wages

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ATLANTA (CBS46/CNN) -

Fast-food workers across the nation are striking and that includes workers in Atlanta.

The workers demand higher wages and the right to unionize.

The current median pay for fast-food workers across the country is just more than $9 an hour, about $18,500 dollars a year. That's nearly $5,000 below the poverty line.

Many workers are asking to be paid a minimum of $15 an hour, more than double the minimum wage.

Workers picketed McDonalds on Moreland Ave. in southeast Atlanta Thursday morning.

Many said wages are so low that they are struggling to provide for their families.

"Its very difficult. We barely are eating, barely are paying bills. One week we might go without for the sake of saving something for the next week, so it's very hard," said Tina McCoy.

McCoy believes the fight is worth it because she's fighting to provide a better future for her daughter.

"It's very important. I want her to have what I didn't have," McCoy said.

For some customers, the thought of prices going up so that workers can earn a higher living wage is frustrating.

"It would probably make me look somewhere else. I mean, I want everyone to make a good living wage and everything, but that's the reason you go to McDonalds," customer Justin Riggs said.

McCoy hopes that service is recognized in the form of a pay increase.

"It's very difficult taking care of a 4-year-old trying to make my ends meet," McCoy said.

The National Restaurant Association said only five percent of restaurant employees earn the minimum wage and those that do are predominately working part-time and half are teenagers.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.

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