They are demanding that workers be paid a living wage of $15 an hour that would be up from the minimum wage of $7.25 most are paid now.
The crowd here in Times Square swelled to several hundred.
Many of them were fast food workers at the McDonalds on West 42nd Street.
Workers there and at other fast food chains around the city walked off the job to say they are fed up with their wages.
59-year-old Linda Archer used to be a bank teller, but now she struggles to get by on $8 an hour at McDonalds.
"It took me two and a half years to get an 80 cent raise," Archer said. She added it is not enough for her to live on.
Earlier in the day, the walkout was outside a Burger King at Penn Station, where about 50 workers rallied for better wages.
"I have a four-year-old son I need to support, take care of, put clothes and food on the table, with $7.25 an hour, I can't really do that," said Hector Morlas, a fast food worker.
Business seemed to go on as usual during the lunch hour and most customers were not fazed.
Some of them also made the point; these workers might want to rethink their request for twice the minimum wage if they want to afford that whopper or big mac.
"Burgers are going to start costing $6 each. I feel very bad that these people aren't making what they should make but I feel $15 is a little excessive," said Robert Pickus, a fast food customer.
"This is not about destroying jobs. This is about making sure that money is being put in the pockets of people that will actually revive this economy," said Jonathan Westin, of Communities for Change.
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