Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the McDonald's headquarters Wednesday to call for the company to raise its pay for its workers.
The demonstration comes ahead of the fast-food chain's annual shareholders meeting Thursday, where it is also expected to be confronted on issues including marketing to children and its pay for executives.
Footage from the scene showed police in riot gear telling protesters to move.
Oak Brook Police say 138 arrests were made fro criminal trespass to property. The individuals were processed and released from custody.
Protesters chanted "We shall not be moved" and at one point staged a sit-in.
Protest organizers say they changed the location of their protest early Wednesday after learning that McDonald's cleared out the building where they had planned their demonstration.
McDonald's says it encouraged employees to work from home to assist police in addressing the actions and related traffic.
While other chains such as Burger King and Taco Bell engage in similar practices, McDonald's Corp. is often the target of critics because of its size and high profile.
Despite reports that McDonald's headquarters had been evacuated, a company spokesperson said their headquarters were open Wednesday afternoon.
The fast-food protests in particular have put pressure on McDonald's since they began in New York City more than a year ago. The push is intended to bring attention to the working conditions of fast-food workers and is being backed by the Service Employees International Union, which has more than 2 million members.
The protests have struck a chord at a time when the gap between the rich and poor has widened. President Obama has also been trying to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which was last increased in 2009.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)