Protesters plan rally at local McDonald’s to fight for minimum wage hike

Emmanuel Dawson protests for higher wages outside a McDonald's restaurant in Detroit Thursday, May 15, 2014. | AP Photo

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A rally is planned in the day ahead at a McDonald’s in Richmond.

Fast food workers are fighting for a minimum wage increase. Right now, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Today’s rally here will mirror protests planned in New York, all demanding that bump in the minimum wage. On Wednesday, the New York State Wage Board approved a wage increase that would increase gradually over three years in N.Y.C. and six years for the rest of the state. It would apply to employees at any fast-food restaurant with 30 or more locations, impacting an estimated 200,000 workers.

Restaurant owners, however, have warned that higher wages will force them to raise menu prices, cut employee hours and potentially hire fewer workers.

Seattle, San Francisco and L.A. are among cities that have met minimum wage demands.

The group says the rally starts at noon at the McDonald’s on E. Broad Street.

Meanwhile, elections officials in Washington, D.C. have cleared the way for a $15-an-hour minimum wage to be added to the ballot. The proposed ballot initiative calls for an increase to $12.50 in 2017 and gradual increases until 2020, when the minimum wage would hit $15 an hour. The D.C. Board of Elections approved the language of the proposed initiative on Wednesday.

Supporters will have to gather about 23,000 signatures to get it on next year’s ballot.

Stay with 8News for much more on this developing story as it unfolds.

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