HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Workers from McDonald's restaurants at two Interstate 95 rest stops held a one-day strike Thursday to protest what they contend are attempts to stop them from unionizing and to demand hazard pay for working during the pandemic.

The small group of workers, from restaurants on I-95 in Darien and Branford, rallied at the state Capitol with members of Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, which is helping their efforts to unionize.

Franklin Soults, a union spokesperson, said workers at the restaurants who support the union have had their hours cut and been harassed by supervisors.

Messages seeking comment were left with McDonald’s and the local franchise owners.

Soults said the rest-stop workers and others in the service sector around the state deserve additional compensation for working through the pandemic.

“It would be a tiny percentage of the money coming from the federal government and would go to workers who have had to be in contact with the general public," he said. “These are essential workers who have risked so much. Across our union, 150 members died of COVID.”

Soults said the workers would be back at their jobs Friday. He said the restaurants used staffers from other locations to stay open on Thursday.