Mc Donalds Pay Strike

Cash registers in McDonald's restaurants in the US are expected to be unusually quiet as thousands of fast food workers go on strike to push for a wage increase.

The company, which sells almost 75 hamburgers a second, has been involved in a long dispute with employees who want their wages almost doubled. Workers are on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 (£4.67) an hour but are demanding $15 an hour.

Workers at rival fast food chains Taco Bell and Wendy in cities such as Detroit, Chicago and Seattle are also joining the strike. An earlier stoppage attracted only 2,200 people across seven cities.

The pay demand would allow employees to earn up to $31,000 a year, in comparison to the UK minimum wage for adults over 21 of £6.31 ($9.79) per hour.

Despite being widely derided as "McJobs", which have limited promotion prospects and are poorly paid, one in eight Americans have worked in a McDonald's restaurant in their lifetime.

It is not known if the strike would shut down any restaurants as union organisers made their plans public, giving managers time to call in non-unionised workers.

The strike coincides with Senate and House of Representatives debates on the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would increase the lowest legal wage to $10.10 an hour by 2015.

An increase in the minimum wage might not benefit some fast food employees, as some states set their own minimum wage which is often higher than the federal figure and close to the figure currently being demanded by the workers.

San Francisco fast food workers are among the highest paid with a minimum wage of $10.55.