Fast Food Workers Protest
The franchise lobby is concerned about the precedent of considering McDonald's as a "joint employer." In this photo, a demonstrator is arrested during a September 2014 protest for higher wages outside a McDonald's restaurant in Chicago. Reuters/Jim Young

Dozens of protesters were arrested Thursday morning in American cities, including New York, Chicago and Detroit, as they gathered to demand higher wages for fast-food workers.

Striking fast food workers and their supporters plan to host rallies in about 150 U.S. cities on Thursday to push their agenda of increasing fast-food workers’ wages to $15 per hour and establishing unions for workers at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and other such restaurants.

The “Fight For $15” movement has caught fire since it began in New York on November 2012, when about 200 fast food workers walked off their shifts. The movement has since driven hundreds of workers across the United States to strike against fast-food companies in order to draw attention to their demands.

One protest Thursday resulted in 21 arrests as workers staged a sit-in in front of a McDonald’s in New York City’s Times Square, declining police requests to move, according to the New York Times.

“I’m out here trying to have a better salary to pay for college,” Christopher Espinosa, a 19-year-old Bronx resident who works at a McDonald’s near the Times Square location where he was protesting Thursday, told Bloomberg News. “These companies are making a lot of money -- they can afford it.”

A Thursday morning rally outside a McDonald’s in the South Side Chicago neighborhood of Chatham drew 150 protesters, according to the Chicago Tribune. The newspaper reported that about 24 people were arrested while staging a sit-in, after which they were transported to a nearby police station.

In Detroit, six protesters were arrested on outstanding warrants outside a McDonald’s, police spokesman Adam Madera told Bloomberg, while 24 more were given disorderly conduct tickets.

The map below outlines the locations of Thursday's protests: