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(NECN/NBC News: Tracie Potts) - For the third time since last spring, fast food workers across the country are walking off the job Thursday. Organizers claim 100 cities will see the push for higher wages.
But could bigger paychecks put their own jobs in jeopardy?
Fast food workers contracted by the federal government say President Obama can do something about this now, without waiting for Congress to raise the minimum wage.
Thursday's demonstration begins with McDonald's employees who work inside the Smithsonian.
Like protesters around the country, they're pushing for a $15 minimum wage.
One worker said, "It's a struggle. With $7.25, I can barely afford light bills or rent, decent shoes for my kids."
Kendall Fells, Organizer for “Fast Food Forward” said, “These workers live in complete poverty. They work for the richest corporations in the country. This is a $200 billion industry."
The National Restaurant Association says a $15 minimum wage could put many of these people out of work.
Scott DeFife of the National Restaurant Association said, "The skill level that is required at $15 an hour would be very different than the experience level that you have with most of the entry level workers who are making minimum wage right now."
President Obama wants to push the current minimum wage up to $10 an hour.
Obama said, "Fast food workers and nurse assistants and retail salespeople who work their tails off and are still living at or barely above poverty."
Protesters will ask the president to sign an executive order guaranteeing a living wage for federally-contracted workers.