In this May 20, 2014, file photo, Rev. Peter Heltzel prays during a rally for a higher minimum wage outside a McDonald's restaurant at the Empire State Plaza concourse in Albany, N.Y. The minimum wage has emerged as perhaps the top issue of a newly emboldened, urban liberal movement that in many places is led not by governors or state lawmakers but by local leaders backed by organized fast food workers. After years of grappling with state and federal budget cuts, mayors and city councils are pushing back against state and federal officials who they say don't understand the income inequality of 21st-century American cities. / Mike Groll AP
VILLA PARK, Illinois (AP) - Fast food workers from across the U.S. have voted in suburban Chicago to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation by including civil disobedience.
More than 1,300 workers gathered Saturday in Villa Park, Illinois. They voted to add sit-down strikes and restaurant occupations to their campaign to win $15-an-hour wages and a union.
Industry officials say a $15-an-hour wage would hurt job creation, and that the solution is more education and job training.
Cindy Enriquez said at the convention that the $8.25 she makes an hour at a McDonalds in Phoenix makes her dream of going to college impossible.
The workers' effort is supported by the Service Employees International Union.
Their actions so far have included one-day strikes and a protest outside this year's McDonald's Corp. shareholder meeting.
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