Many knew it was coming, they just didn’t know the magnitude. Now they know.

Last Thursday, fast-food workers around New York City and the country staged rallies in favor of a $15 minimum wage and the right to form a union. Workers, many of whom wore their uniforms to the rally, represented a plethora of fast-food establishments, from McDonald’s to Burger King, Domino’s and KFC.

With workers being arrested by police in New York City, Detroit, Las Vegas and Chicago, fast-food employees put the country on notice about their fight. Workers outside of the Times Square McDonald’s held signs that read: “On Strike to Lift Our Families Up” and “Whatever It Takes for $15 and Union Rights.”

“We’re risking arrest because the fact is, Papa John’s left me no other choice,” stated Shantel Walker, who has worked at a Papa John’s in Brooklyn since 1999 and makes $8.50 an hour. “I am committed to doing whatever it takes to win $15 and union rights because I work too hard to struggle to pay my rent and bills while the fast-food industry makes billions in profits.” 

Darrell Roper, a worker at an Upper East Side Burger King, said that the financial outlook of the country won’t get better until the conditions of people who are in situations like his get better.

“I have no money in my pockets, and I’m struggling to survive. The economy will never grow so long as hard-working people like me continue to make $8 per hour,” said Roper in a statement. “I’m proud of this movement and what it’s accomplished, and no matter what, I will stay willing to do whatever it takes to win.” 

Elected officials were on hand to show support for the fast-food workers as well, including New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, New York City Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez, Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo and state Sen. Gustavo Rivera.

Fast-food workers from around the world made their way stateside to show support for America’ workers as well. Kader Diop, a 48-year-old who has worked at a McDonald’s in Paris for 15 years, said in a statement, “In France, we have a union and negotiate with McDonald’s. We know it’s possible because we live it. By standing together, we can achieve decent wages for fast-food workers from New York to Paris, and all over the world.”

Continuing with the theme of workers around the world uniting for a single cause, fast-food workers announced last week the plan to tour six countries and three continents this fall, where they will meet with other fast-food workers to share ideas and lessons on their campaign. Some of the workers include Denmark-based unionized McDonald’s workers, who make more than $20 an hour, and low-wage earners in places like Brazil.