VILLA PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Fast food workers attended a first-ever convention in Villa Park Saturday as they discuss ways to escalate their growing campaign for better wages, reports WBBM’s Mike Krauser.

They have staged sit-ins and strikes and some have been arrested as they fight for $15-an-hour and a union, organized by the Service Employees International Union.

Convention workshops include civil disobedience.

McDonald’s worker Douglas Hunter makes $800 a month and says it’s time for the fast food giants to step up.

“These companies have made billions of dollars,” Hunter said. “McDonald’s grossed $5 billion last year. Surely they can afford to pay their workers in this rich country. This is the richest country in the world and part of its citizens are living below the poverty level and that is ridiculous in a country as great as America.”

Fast food jobs once held primarily by the young are held primarily by older workers today, some making careers of what were historically stepping-stone jobs.