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Demonstrators at a Sacramento-area McDonald's and Jack-and-the Box seek $15 an hour wage for fast-food employees. News10/KXTV

SACRAMENTO - Demonstrators gathered quickly at the Jack In The Box in the 2000 block of Arden Way at noon Thursday for about half an hour to protest the treatment of fast food workers. It was all part of a coordinated effort in cities across the country.

A crowd rushed inside the restaurant chanting, calling on fast food companies to pay workers $15 an hour and allow them to unionize without retaliation. Outside, protesters stood in front of a car headed for the drive-through before clearing the path for the driver to pass. Protesters identified themselves as employees from various fast food restaurants across the region. Some started the day early at a McDonald's on Howe Avenue before moving to the Jack In The Box.

In a statement posted on its corporate website, McDonald's wrote, "we respect everyone's right to voice an opinion." The company went on to say, "we respect the right of employees to choose whether or not they want to unionize."

In California, the minimum wage has been $8 an hour since 2008. It will increase to $9 per hour this July, and to $10 per hour in 2016. But protesters like Alishee Moten insist they deserve $15 per hour.

"We feel we deserve it. Most of the people who say we don't deserve it are people who haven't ever worked fast food. Once you actually work fast food, you will understand why we are doing this," Moten said.

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