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Dozens arrested in Cambridge at rally for higher wages

The protesters called for $15 an hour wages as part of a nationwide day of action.

Three dozen people were arrested Tuesday morning outside a Central Square McDonald's during a rally in support of $15 an hour minimum wage.

Among those arrested was state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, an Acton Democrat and co-chairman of the Committee on Financial Services. He was charged with civil disobedience, his office told State House News Service.

Fast food workers and airport employees took part in daylong strikes in Boston, and others protested throughout the city and the country Tuesday, as part of a National Day of Action.

Members of the Fight for $15 group joined striking workers outside the Central Square McDonald's at 6 a.m., sitting down in the street as Cambridge police diverted traffic.

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"I'm very proud of the brave workers for having the courage to stand up to billionaire corporations and to fight for what they deserve," Eldridge said in a news release, according to SHNS. "Big corporations have been exploiting lower-wage workers for decades, forcing people to work long hours and tough schedules without receiving fair holiday or sick pay, and without receiving a living wage."

Several hundred people, including baggage handlers and cabin cleaners from Logan Airport rallied at East Boston Memorial Park as part of the protest effort. Airport workers say their employer, Flight Services and Systems,a JetBue contractor,has not been receptive to union organizing activity.

Raise of Massachusetts also joined the Fight for $15 members at the Massachusetts Statehouse.

In a news release, the group said, "In addition to the strikes, workers today are waging their most disruptive protests yet to show they will not back down in the face of newly elected politicians and newly empowered corporate special interests who threaten an extremist agenda to move the country to the right."

State House News Service contributed to this report.

 
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