A young man holds a sign as hundreds of workers, organizers, and supporters gather outside of the McDonald's Corporation Headquarters on May 22, 2014 in Oak Brook, Ill.
M. Spencer Green—AP
May 22, 2014 12:45 PM EDT

McDonald’s CEO said Thursday his company’s employees are paid fairly and that they are provided opportunities leading to “real careers,” the Associated Press reports.

CEO Don Thompson’s comments, delivered at a shareholders’ meeting, come after more than 100 people were arrested Wednesday for refusing to leave McDonald’s property in Chicago during protests over pay and McDonald’s strategy of marketing to children. The chain previously had to close one of its buildings in Oak Brook, Illinois where the protests were initially planned.

Thursday wasn’t the first time McDonald’s child-marketing tactics have been brought up at a shareholder meeting. However, it’s becoming more of a problem for the company as sales in the U.S. have slowed amid new competition and changing eating habits.

The CEO defended his company, even saying his own children eat McDonald’s food. “We are people. We do have values at McDonald’s. We are parents,” he said. He also emphasized the quality of the ingredients used by the chain.



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