Fast-food workers in cities across the country -- including Milwaukee -- are striking this week over low wages, and sparking debate about whether to raise the country's minimum wage.
Protesters said that they want the minimum wage raised to $15 and are demanding a union. They're arguing that many can't live on their current salaries. Opponents, however, said that raising the minimum wage could spell the end for those jobs.
Mike Wilder, of Wisconsin Jobs Now, a nonprofit that is helping organize the protests, said fast-food workers aren't who many might think they are. He said rather than the teenagers many might imagine, the average age of fast-food workers is 28 years old and that two-thirds of fast-food workers are women.
He said those who work at fast-food restaurants need to be able to support families.
"These are companies that have the money to pay these workers, and I think they should pay them so they can support their families," Wilder said.
Burger King employee Tessie Harrell is a single mother of six who makes $8.25 an hour. She said she is participating in the protests because it's nearly impossible to pay bills, raise children and make a car payment on her income.
However, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, of the Manhattan Institute, a New York-based, market-oriented think tank, said if the government raises the minimum wage, the people who have these fast-food jobs wouldn't have them.
"It's mostly the young and the unskilled who are working at minimum-wage jobs. If we raise the minimum wage, they will find it harder to get employment," she said.
She said this would price younger workers out of the labor market.