SACRAMENTO, CA - Fast-food restaurant workers across the country are demanding to be paid $15 an hour. That's more than double the federal minimum wage.
Things were quieter at fast-food restaurants in and around Sacramento, but the issue of low wages is on many people's minds.
Recently unemployed, Mary Yoder stopped by Sacramento's employment development office for help finding her next job, but she says she can understand why those who have jobs in the fast-food industry say they deserve higher wages.
"They do deserve to make more 'cause I watch when I'm there eating at fast food, and I see how hard they work, and they do. They work really hard," Yoder said.
In California, the minimum hourly wage is $8 an hour.
Fast-food workers staged strikes and walkouts at restaurants in nearly 60 cities across the country. The protests follow a series of strikes that began in New York last November. Some question workers demand for $15 per hour.
"I would say 10, 11 dollars would be enough because that's about the work they do. I mean, they're not doing heavy manual labor," former fast-food worker Lindsay Fredericksen said.
Many fast-food workers make the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage. Cosumnes River College economics professor Edwin Fagin says any effort to double that would be difficult.
"This has been a long-standing battle back and forth, and we've seen the minimum wage slowly creep up. I think a dramatic shift like that, it would take a large movement," Fagin said.
The debate over raising the minimum wage has seen much more modest proposals. President Obama has called for an increase to $9 an hour.
"If you see 100,000 people or a half a million people going, 'we're minimum wage workers, and we want a change,' then that sends a big signal. If it's a few hundred people, then we're not getting that clear signal," Fagin said.
If the protestors are successful, what will the consequences be for consumers?
"I think that's asking for too much because then it's going to rise the price of food in the fast-food restaurants and we're going to end up with like $20 hamburgers," Fredericksen said.
"I understand they need more money too, but I don't know. I worry about people wanting to pay the extra price for food. It's fast food," Yoder said.