Photo Credit: Getty

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Fast food workers in Los Angeles joined their  counterparts across the country today in striking for $15-an-hour wages and the  right to form a union.

The protests mirrored similar protests that have been held in Los  Angeles and at fast-food outlets nationwide over the past two years. Workers at  McDonald's and Burger King restaurants in South Los Angeles took part in a  strike in May.

The workers contend they are being paid poverty-level wages. They have  argued that the more than 100,000 fast-food workers in the Los Angeles area  earn a median wage of about $9 an hour, and they point to a study that an adult  with a child needs to earn $29.34 an hour just to afford basics and make ends  meet.

Today's protests come as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pushes for  gradual increases in the minimum wage in Los Angeles. His proposal would raise  the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017. The proposal, however, is already meeting  resistance from business leaders, who say the increase would force businesses  to lay off workers or dramatically raise the costs of goods and services.

``The kind of wage hike being proposed in Los Angeles is a blatant  overestimation of what the businesses in this community can bear,'' said Jot  Condie, president/CEO of the California Restaurant Association. ``The state  minimum wage just climbed to $9 in July, leaving little time to analyze the  fallout. This is simply too much, too fast -- ignoring all the other aspects  that go into overall compensation, including tips and benefits.''

The protests also come about a month after the National Labor Relations  Board ruled that the McDonald's corporation has major control over employees'  working conditions and wages, despite contentions by the restaurant chain that  such decisions are largely left to local franchise owners.

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