Fast-food workers in Miami and New York have gone on strike to demand pay hikes and the right to unionise in a protest also observed in other cities around the world.
An organiser in Miami, Muhammed Malik, said protests were called in 130 cities in more than 33 countries, although in some places they appeared sparsely attended.
In the US, dozens of workers went on strike for several hours in fast-food restaurants in Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston, organisers said.
In New York, where the protest movement began in November 2012, about 100 demonstrators gathered in the rain outside a pizza chain after similar demonstrations outside McDonald’s outlets in the city.
They wore T-shirts with the slogan “McStrike” or “stick together for $15”. They also carried signs saying, “Fair pay, respect for our rights”.
They are demanding that pay be doubled to $US15 ($A16) an hour and that they be allowed to join unions.
“My American dream is a dream of slavery,” said Selmira Wilson, a 33-year-old Nicaraguan who arrived in the US three years ago.
She said the $US7.99 an hour she makes at McDonald’s isn’t enough to support her three children.
In other parts of the world, fast-food protests were more limited, with only dozens going on strike in Geneva or London.
In some cities like Paris, fast-food workers only announced a day of solidarity.
In Italy, the three main unions called for a strike at fast-food restaurants for Friday, and the largest job action was expected in Milan, a union source said.