Fast-food workers rally for higher wages and union protection at the McDonalds at 34th St. early Thursday.

They want a raise with those fries.

New York fast-food employees joined thousands of colleagues from across the country in a Thursday strike aimed at boosting their salaries to $15 an hour — more than double the current minimum rate.

“I’m not going to stay quiet,” said Shaniqua Davis, 20, a Bronx resident and McDonald’s worker. “I’m going to continue to fight. … I’ve got a daughter to take care of. I struggle to make ends meet.”

Paying the bills is tough for employees who typically earn the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The nationwide walkout, set for 50 cities, is targeting chains like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wendy’s.

Organizers billed the McJobs strike as the largest ever by fast-food workers.

Davis joined several hundred fellow fast-food workers at a Fifth Ave. rally outside a McDonald’s near the Empire State Building.

Shenita Simon, 25, of Brooklyn, echoed Davis’ complaints about the need for a living wage.

The married mother of three and her husband both work, but still share an apartment with her mom and fight to put food on the table.

In fact, she said, the family could only recently afford to buy a kitchen table.

“My kids were eating on the floor,” she said. “Things like that shouldn’t happen.”

KFC employee Simon — who earns $8 an hour — said the request for a raise was reasonable.

“We don’t think it’s too much to ask,” said Simon. “We’re still going to struggle on $15 an hour.”

The one-day walkout, she added, was “definitely empowering.”

The fast-food companies said doubling their workers’ salaries would simply be bad for business.

The raises “would potentially have a negative impact on employment and business growth in our restaurants, as well as value for our customers,” read a statement from McDonald’s.

Scott DeFife, spokesman for the National Restaurant Association, said fast-food operations were already facing higher costs for ingredients as well as health care.

The minimum wage was last raised in 2009. President Obama hopes for a boost to $9, which is well below what the workers are seeking.

source: http://www.nydailynews.com