(AP) Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says the strikes by fast-food workers show the need to raise the minimum wage.
Perez is leading the push by President Barack Obama to boost the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. Congress has not acted on the proposal.
The fast-food workers are seeking a $15 minimum wage.
Perez gave a wide-ranging interview to The Associated Press. He compares the recent protests to the 1963 March on Washington, which sought a national minimum wage to give workers better living standards.
He says that for too many people in minimum wage jobs, quote, "the rungs on the ladder of opportunity are feeling further and further apart."