U.S. fast food workers have been pledging for months to stage their biggest strike ever to protest what they say are "poverty" wages.

On Thursday, just days before Labor Day, they made good on their word.

From Los Angeles to New York, Seattle to Milwaukee, some 60 cities in all, employees of chains like McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and others, walked off their jobs to demand better pay.

SOUNDBITE: KENDELL FELLS, ORGANIZING DIRECTOR FOR FAST FOOD FORWARD, SAYING:

"You have CEOs that are tripling their pay, and you have the workers that are making all the money for these corporations living in poverty."

The strikers are demanding $15 an hour, up from $7.25, the current federal minimum wage.

They also want to form unions, without the threat of retaliation.

SOUNDBITE: DEREK LANGLEY, WORKER AT KFC, SAYING:

"If I could just tell everybody walk a day in my shoes. I actually got burned this week. It's horrible, like conditions, how we work, and how they treat us, the lack of respect. It's horrible."

Fast food companies say they provide good jobs, and plenty of opportunity for workers to rise through the ranks.

But strike organizers say the workers who serve America millions of meals a day -- are having a hard time putting food on their own tables.