About 100 protesters were arrested for trespassing as they temporarily blocked two streets around the McDonald's campus on Wednesday, a day before the company's annual shareholder meeting.

McDonald's closed a nearby restaurant because of traffic concerns, and told employees in a building targeted by protesters they should work from home, company spokeswoman Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem said.

The campaign for USD 15 an hour and a union began in late 2012 and has involved a range of tactics, including demonstrations in cities around the country.Earlier this year, McDonald's said it would raise its starting pay for workers to USD 1 above the local minimum wage.

Labor organisers said the move falls short because it only applies to company-owned stores. McDonald's Corp. owns about 10 percent of its stores in the US, while the rest are run by franchisees.  

The protests come as McDonald's fights to hold onto customers amid intensifying competition from smaller rivals and changing tastes. CEO Steve Easterbrook, who stepped into the role in March, has said he wants to transform McDonald's into a "modern, progressive burger company." Thursday will mark his first shareholder meeting as CEO.

 

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