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Fast-food walk-outs in Wausau, Stevens Point, Milwaukee, Madison

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Fast food workers in at least four Wisconsin cities will walk off their jobs today, as part of a national campaign for higher wages. "Wisconsin Jobs Now" is coordinating rallies in Milwaukee, Madison, Wausau, and Stevens Point. Similar events are planned in 100 U-S cities, to mark the one-year anniversary of a movement aimed at paying fast-food workers $15-an hour to start, with the right to unionize without retaliation.

Yesterday President Obama called on Congress to address what he calls a growing economic inequality, and raise the federal minimum wage from its current 7.25-an-hour. Iowa Senate Democrat Tom Harkin has a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10-an-hour over three phases -- and to tie future increases to the rate of inflation.

53 congressional Democrats wrote to a number of fast-food companies yesterday, expressing support for higher wages. Industry leaders say it would restrain job growth, and lead to higher prices. The National Restaurant Association says the demonstrations are quote, "a coordinated P-R campaign engineered by national labor groups." It says relatively few workers have taken part in demonstrations over the past year.