Baltimore joins call for higher fast food wages

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.

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