Wednesday, April 23, 2014 · 3:32 p.m.

Chattanooga is one of 100 U.S. cities where organizers plan to protest low wages for fast-food employees this week.

So far, 45 people plan to attend the protest outside a McDonald’s on Brainerd Road, a Facebook event page indicates. Three progressive groups are planning Thursday’s protest, including Occupy Chattanooga, Chattanooga for Workers and Move to Amend Chattanooga.

"Giant corporations like McDonald’s and Walmart reap billions in annual profits," organizers wrote. "It is unfair that many of their employees earn so little that many of them must receive public assistance."

Fast-food restaurants in the Chattanooga area employed more than 4,600 people last year and paid a median wage of $8.42 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Local organizers are calling for $15 an hour wages and union representation for fast-food employees.

The nationwide protest and strike is intended to shed light on the difficulty of living off minimum wage.

The Associated Press:

It’s not clear how large the turnout will be at any given location or whether the walkouts will be enough to disrupt operations. Similar actions this summer had varying results, with some restaurants unable to serve customers and others seemingly unaffected.

The National Restaurant Association, an industry lobbying group, called the demonstrations a "campaign engineered by national labor groups" and said the vast majority of participants were union protesters rather than workers.

President Barack Obama called on Congress last month to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The Senate’s majority leader has promised a vote by the end of the year. But passage in the House remains unlikely.

Democrats in several states and municipalities are looking to raise the minimum wage within their own borders, according to The Washington Post.

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