MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of fast food workers around the country are walking off the job and demanding change.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are some of the nearly 200 cities where groups have organized demonstrations, calling for a raise to the minimum wage. The workers are also fighting to unionize.

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A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute found fast food workers make an average wage of $10 dollars an hour. In Minnesota, the minimum wage recently went up to $8 an hour.

The organizers behind these demonstrations say they plan to specifically call attention to McDonald’s Thursday.

“I would like, you know, better working conditions, sick paid time off and rights from a union,” McDonald’s employee Guillermo Lindsay said. “That being said, I’d rather have a union and $15 an hour than a struggling wage to survive.”

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The owner and operator of McDonald’s at the Uptown location in Minneapolis released this statement Thursday morning:

At McDonald’s we respect everyone’s right to peacefully protest. I value the dedicated employees that work in my restaurants and remain committed to providing them with opportunities to succeed. Our McDonald’s franchised organization has a long, proven history of providing advancement paths, training and development for those who want it.

In my restaurants, wages are set according to local and federal laws, the competitive marketplace and job level. We believe that any minimum wage increase should be implemented over time so that the impact on owners of small and medium-sized businesses is manageable and feasible. Additionally, we believe that any increase needs to be considered in a broad context, one that considers, for example, the impact of the Affordable Care Act and its definition of “full time” employment, as well as the treatment, from a tax perspective, of investments made by business owners.

–Mike Darula, owner/operator of McDonald’s restaurant, Uptown

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Demonstrations at the Uptown locations ended shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday.