Demonstrators protest in front of a McDonald's restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, May 15, 2014. U.S. fast food workers seeking higher wages plan strikes and demonstrations on Thursday that could affect thousands of restaurants across the country the workers say make huge profits from paying them workers a pittance. (Jim Young / Reuters / May 15, 2014)

The Baltimore & Maryland Workers Assembly will host a protest Thursday calling for higher wages for fast food workers, one of dozens happening around the world.

The groups backing the effort, which calls for a $15 wage, say protests and strikes will occur in more than 150 cities in the U.S. and 33 countries. Similar one-day events, bankrolled largely by the Service Employees International Union and promoted by community groups, have been staged for more than a year.

State lawmakers last month passed a law to increase the minimum wage in stages, reaching $10.10 per hour by 2018. The first raise, which boosts the minimum pay from $7.25 to $8 per hour, takes effect Jan. 1. The law does not apply to workers earning tips, who earn a base pay of $3.63 an hour under the deal.

Baltimore's "Walk 4 Justice," held in solidarity with the strikers, starts at 4 p.m. Thursday in front of the McDonald's at Light and Baltimore streets.